So just as we're feeling a warm glow of post-Olympic kinship with our fellow man we have to deal with the news that the noble game of Scrabble – Scrabble!
– has been besmirched by the stain of cheating.
A young player at a tournament in Florida has been disqualified for hiding blank tiles about his person. Well, how else are you going to create a word like "besmirched" without a bit of extra help?
The implications are frightening. How long before players are drugs tested? "I'm afraid there are traces of bitter in his bloodstream. About six pints, I'd say. Looks like he's had a night on the tiles. Ha! My little joke – 'night on the -' oh never mind. That explains why he's using language like that."
Attitudes to the game will have to change now. If someone secures a triple word score and does the Mobot to celebrate, will they be accused of hiding blanks in their hair? And while we're on the subject, is Mobot a word? And if you did successfully remove hidden blanks from your scalp without anyone noticing, would that be a Mobotomy. And is that a word too? Apologies if these pains are too punful. Sorry, I mean if these puns are too painful.
Yet this added drama to the game and the publicity it has received this week could yet result in it becoming part of the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. Beach Scrabble could become one of the highlights, played by bikini-clad contestants, each desperate to make the word "bikini" across one of the red squares. Surely some sort of relay could be developed too, with contestants passing the wooden tile-holders backwards as they slide around the board in the 4x100 words event.
Or Artistic Scrabble. Your words have to make a picture too. Press the red button now for our tile cam which takes you right on to the board in high definition.
If someone had unfurled US athlete Tommie Smith's raised, clenched fist in that iconic Black Power photograph on the podium at Mexico in 1968, maybe they would have discovered that it contained seven Scrabble titles, spelling out the word "Freedom".
Looking ahead to Rio, if a young player wears stick-on sideburns in tribute to Bradley Wiggins, they will have to be searched – just in case a few blanks fall out, spinning across the board like Wiggo's record-breaking rotating pedals.
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