Arts, Culture & Media

Geo Answer

You'll need a game board, one hundred letter tiles, a letter bag and four racks for today's geo quiz.

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You've guessed it, our quiz is all about Scrabble.

Now, Scrabble's a pretty popular game in the United States. As you may know, it was invented here during the Great Depression by an unemployed architect.

But the game also has quite a following overseas. Scrabble is sold in 121 countries. And it's available in 29 different languages.

Among them, French.

Every year the French-speaking world holds its own Scrabble world championships.

They've been taking place this week in the capital of a west African country. The country has a literacy rate of just 40 percent. But its citizens are mad about Scrabble.

They consider the game a national sport, and boast nine world titles.

Still scrabbling for the answer?

This country was once a French colony. It sits on the western-most part of Africa. So, can you name this Scrabble-obsessed nation and its capital?

Not much time to gather your tiles for this one.... you gotta think fast.

The venue for this year's French-language Scrabble World Championships is Dakar, Senegal.

As we said, Scrabble's a pretty big deal in Senegal. The country's sports minister formally declared this year's championships a national priority. The competition even has its own official song. It was composed by Senegalese singer, Pape Diouf. The lyrics proclaim that "Senegal loves Scrabble."

29 year old Senegalese Scrabble champ, Ndongo Sylla, seconds that.

Ndongo Sylla: Everywhere it is played, in schools, in families, in the streets. It's a very popular game. People like scrabble, and institutionally there are more and more efforts that are done by the government to help the sport, it's not only a game, now it's a sport, to come at the front of our culture. More and more people are saying that Senegal is a country of Scrabble. There is nowhere in the Francophone countries where there is such a passion for Scrabble.

Scrabble champion Ndongo Sylla is an advisor to the Senegalese presidentScrabble champion Ndongo Sylla is an advisor to the Senegalese president

Ndongo Sylla is one of hundreds of competitors from 21 countries who gathered in Dakar for this year's Francophone Scrabble World Championships. The tournament wraps up tomorrow. The rules are a little different from the ones you may be used to. In the competition, the players are not given individual tiles, or letters, to play with. Instead, an announcer picks out the tiles. Then every player uses the same set of letters to try and come up with a winning word. There are other differences between French and English Scrabble. That includes the value placed on some letters of the alphabet, as Ndongo Sylla explains.

Ndongo Sylla: For example "Y", which is a very unusual letter in French, is credited ten points. This is a difference with English (Scrabble) because in English we use many words with "Y", and that's why in English (Scrabble) "Y" is not credited so much.

The scrabble players in action in Dakar. Top players learn about 50, 000 wordsThe scrabble players in action in Dakar. Top players learn about 50, 000 words

The world francaphone scrabble championship has come to DakarThe world francaphone scrabble championship has come to Dakar

The scrabble masters at work, all players work with the same tiles and are guided by the board projected on the giant screen.The scrabble masters at work, all players work with the same tiles and are guided by the board projected on the giant screen.

Check out this video of Senegalese musician, Pape Diouf singing about the 37th Francophone Scrabble World Championships in Senegal.