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<   No. 4455   2021-02-19   >

Comic #4455

1 Adam: Hey, Jamie! I’ve come up with a new idea for a game. Want to try it out?
1 Jamie: Sure. What is it?
2 Adam: Psionic Boggle. Based on the classic word-finding game Boggle.
3 Jamie: Psionic? Really? How do you play it?
4 Adam: The mind Boggles.

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Boggle is a classic game first published in 1972. It has a set of 16 cubic dice with letters printed on each side, and a 4×4 square tray into which the dice fit in a grid. The tray has a cover, into which the dice are put, and then they are shaken until the dice settle into the tray. The cover is lifted and a timer is started. Players then have to write down as many words as they can find in the grid, by following letters from one square to another, allowing either edge or diagonal adjacency, but not reusing a cube in the same word. Words must be at least 3 letters long, and found in some agreed upon reference word list (a dictionary of some sort, or perhaps a Scrabble-like word list).

When the timer runs out, players compare their lists of words. Any word recorded by more than one player is struck of all the lists. Players then score points for words they have found that nobody else also found. Longer words score more points according to a defined scoring scale.

Boggle still retains some popularity today and you can easily find sets in toy and game shops. It's iconic enough to have appeared in some TV shows, such as King of the Hill's season one episode, "Peggy the Boggle Champ", and The Big Bang Theory's season two episode "The Panty Piñata Polarization. In the latter show, the characters play Klingon Boggle, using dice marked with Klingon glyphs.

I wrote this joke some time ago, thinking I could use Psionic Boggle in the Martians theme as something that Ishmael invents. But the opportunity to work it into the storyline never came along, so I decided to move it over here to the Mythbusters.

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