Inventor Goes Banana-Grams

Age-neutral, board-free and un-scored; fast-paced, portable and creative: These are just some of the words used to describe Bananagrams, a word game invented by Abe Nathanson.

The Brown Daily Herald reports that Nathanson explained how the inspiration for Bananagrams came after a two-hour-long Scrabble game with his grandson three or four years ago.

Frustrated with the length of time it took to play the game, Nathanson said “we need an anagram so fast it will drive you bananas.”

“After I said the words,” he said, “they all rolled together and then became a family project.”

The game consists of 144 letter tiles, which the players combine to form individual crosswords. Letters are continuously added to each player’s pile until the tiles run out. At this point, the first player to create a word-grid using all of their letters wins.

Although Nathanson has been making toys for his family his whole life, he never marketed them, he said.

At just over 80 years old, Nathanson has not lost his passion for games, especially those involving words. “Letters become words, words become sentences and sentences become knowledge,” Nathanson says.

Photo by Bananagrams.

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