One of the highest-rankings Scrabble tournaments in the UK was abandoned on Wednesday evening after a minor disagreement over the use of the word ‘clunge’ quickly escalated into a large fracas with 15 arrests and three players in hospital.
Officials have said that The South Essex Scrabble Invitational will be replayed in the near future as there are up to four European Scrabble Champions League places at stake.
Lexy Cohen was watching the semi-final when the match suddenly descended into violence, and she told our Chief Reporter that she had never seen a tile rack used as an offensive weapon before.
She added: ‘Everyone was looking forward to this match as it was the older and experienced Stuart Arthurton against the up and coming youngster Zachary Whackton. Zachary had just put down ‘clunge’ through a triple word square, and while he was celebrating his 27 point score Stuart immediately called for an umpire.’
‘He was convinced that the word had been made up, and the umpire confirmed that ‘clunge’ is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘a woman’s genitals.’ This made him fly into a rage as he had been penalised for trying to use ‘foofoo’ a few minutes before.’
‘Unfortunately for the 78-year-old three-time world champion, ‘foofoo’ is yet to achieve the linguistic legitimacy that the public are crying out for, and this realisation made him attack poor Zachary with his tile rack.’
‘Tens of people stepped into the fracas after this, and the police arrived shortly afterwards. I’ve not seen the local competitive board games scene drawn into such disrepute since the Maldon Monopoly Murders in 1997.’
‘Fortunately a doctor was in the audience to perform a tracheotomy after Zachary ended up with a blank tile lodged in his windpipe.’
As a precaution, next week’s Southend Seniors Scrabble Showdown will be played behind closed doors.