Merv Griffin's Word For Word Game

Word For Word Game box

Merv Griffin appeared on television from 1962 through 1986 as well as on earlier radio programs. He was the host of syndicated televised daytime and late night talk shows from 1969 through 1972. However his biggest success was in the game shows he created for television such as Jeopardy! (1974) and Wheel of Fortune (1983). One of the early game shows he created for television was Word For Word - a game show that did not have the popularity of these other two.

The game box (35cm x 38cm x 4cm) photographed on the left, features a picture of Merv Griffin as he appeared on the telecast. The game was produced by the Mattel Company in 1963.

On the upper right of the box is an artist's rendition of the televised production which was telecast  in black and white at the time. As in many audience participation quiz programs, a named timing device was used to heighten audience anticipation. In this game show, the device was known as "The Gyro-Timer".

Word For Word Game objects

Built into the base of the game box are a number of objects used for the game. The major piece is a score board (33cm x 37cm x 4cm) on the left of the photograph. This piece has holes for inserting pegs for keeping score much like a "cribbage board".

The "spinner" in the lower right of the board (with Griffin's photograph) is used to select a player. Partitions in the upper right quadrant hold the question cards, the prize cards, and other minor pieces.

The "Gyro-Timer"  is a plastic device with a blue wheel that starts in an opening at one end, moves down a zigzag track into a similar opening at the other end. The device can be turned either way.

The way the game was played: A "scrambled" word printed on a card was chosen by a player. The "Gyro-Timer was started, and the player had to "unscramble" the word before the timer reached the bottom of the track. Points were given for the number of words "unscrambled". The winner was the player with the highest number of points.

Last update May 29, 2010