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Sunday, November 7, 1999 Published at 16:09 GMT


Briton loses war of words

"Isogriv" wins the day

A Briton has just missed carrying off the laurels in a sporting world final - the World Scrabble Championships.

Mark Nyman, 33, from Leeds, was pipped at the post by just one point at the finals in Australia by Canadian Joel Wapnick - who he beat into second place in 1993.

Mr Nyman, who produces Channel 4's Countdown programme, amassed 402 points to Mr Wapnick's 403.

After playing 1,176 games, the Canadian's winning word was "isogriv", referring to a map reference line.

Philip Nelkon spokesman for Mattel, the game's makers, said: "The word used that most impressed us this year was methionine, a chemical.

"Even in the days of electric games, Scrabble stands the test of time."

Scrabble was invented in 1930 in the United States but was not introduced to Britain until 1954.

It has been translated into 30 languages and is used in many countries to help students learn English.

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