North American Tiddlywinks Association

NATwA founded • 27 February 1966

  • Publication Title: Newswink
  • Whole Number: 10
  • Publisher: North American Tiddlywinks Association
  • Publication Date: 16 February 1980
  • Publication Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Editor: Rick Tucker
  • Number of Page Sides: 12, plus 2 with the NATwA Address List
  • Preparation: Prepared using the R document layout software on the MIT Mathlab computer. Printed on the MIT AI Laboratory’s Dover Xerox printer.
  • Production: Reproduced on both sides in black and white on 8½” by 11″ sheets
  • NATwA archives artifacts: original printed pages with paste-up additions; digitized images of original printed edition 
  • Date Updated: 17 August 2022
To do:
  • (2022-08-17) Restructure elements in Elementor Pro to have article sections and #hashtag-ids for each section
  • (2022-08-17) Add tw-divider widgets between articles
  • (2022-08-17) Add table of contents in Toggle widget 
  • (2022-08-17) Add abbreviations used

All are winkers except as noted.

  • Saul “TDI” Agranoff
  • Poul Anderson (science fiction author)
  • John Kendrick Bangs (juvenile fiction author)
  • Dave Barbano
  • Phyllis Barbano
  • James Bond (fictional character)
  • Nan Brady
  • Dan Bricklin
  • Beverly Browne
  • Butler-Lytton (author)
  • Ross Callon
  • Steve Carnovsky
  • Carl “Spike” Chenkin
  • Mark Childs
  • Brian Clough (English footballer and manager)
  • Sidney Colvin (poet mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Con (mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Sean Connery (actor)
  • Guy Consterdine
  • Chris Cornell
  • Geoff Cornell
  • Lee Cousins
  • Gardner Cowles (newspaper publisher)
  • John Cowles (newspaper publisher)
  • Ernest Crawley (cricketer mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Michael Crick
  • Leslie H. Daiken (author)
  • Ellen “ln” Davis
  • Alan “El Supremo” Dean
  • Daniel Dern
  • David desJardins
  • Gordon R. Dickson (science fiction author)
  • Paul Dickson (author)
  • Peter Downes
  • Severin Drix
  • Cyril Edwards
  • Reverend Whitwell Elwin (mentioned in a diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Joseph Assheton Fincher (patented and trademarked Tiddledy-Winks, 1888-1890)
  • Bobbi Forscher
  • Don Fox
  • Charles Frankston
  • Larry Freeman (author)
  • Ruth Freeman (author)
  • Bill Gammerdinger
  • Gerald (mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Arye Gittelman
  • John Good
  • Marquis of Granby (a pub in Cambridge, England)
  • Bob Henninge
  • Paul Henninge
  • Scott Hirsh
  • Tom Houston
  • Duncan Hughes
  • Richard “L” Hussong
  • Brian Jewell (author)
  • Larry “Horsemeat” Kahn
  • Dan Kammen
  • Phil Kaaret
  • Tom Kernochan
  • James J. Kirkpatrick (political commentator)
  • Mary Kirman
  • Michael Krasner
  • Doll Liddell (mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Dave “The Dragon” Lockwood (also given as “Lockweed”)
  • Lady Emily Lutyens (birth last name: Lytton) (recorded in her diary a description of a tiddlywinks party)
  • Bilton Madley (humorous variation on Milton Bradley, the game manufacturer)
  • Jon Mapley
  • Jim Marlin
  • Quinn Martin (television show producer)
  • Mike Moore
  • Bill Moritz
  • Ed Morse
  • Virginia Musselman (author)
  • Lee Parks
  • Jean Piaget (psychologist)
  • Dave Pinckney
  • Bob Placier
  • Marianne Pojman
  • Sam Pottle
  • Francis Rabelais (author of Gargantua and Pantagruel)
  • Charles Relle
  • Bill Renke (identified as Big Billy)
  • John Reply
  • Jim Roberts
  • Barry Rogoff
  • David Rose
  • Martin Ross
  • MP Rouse
  • Josef “Joe” Sachs
  • Tim Schiller
  • Michael “Moishe” Schwartz
  • Craig Schweinhart
  • Keith Seaman
  • Ed Seim
  • Rich Shapiro
  • David “Sunshine” Sheinson (also “*”)
  • Fred Shapiro
  • Betsy Smith
  • Matt Solà
  • Dean Solomon
  • Nuala Stanley (reporter for the Cambridge Daily News)
  • Mick Still
  • Bill Steen
  • Rich Steidle
  • Ira Summer
  • George Talbot (mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Andy Tomaszewski
  • Rick Tucker
  • Phil Villar
  • Rosie Wain
  • Buck Webb
  • Wentworth Weeks (mentioned in Ruth and Larry Freeman book)
  • Steve Welch
  • Noel Whitcomb (reporter for the Daily Mirror)
  • Jeff Wieselthier
  • Reverend Edgard Ambrose “Eggs” Willis
  • Mick Wiseman
  • Wobbly (dog who lived a winkers’s house in Somerville)
  • Lord Wolmer (mentioned in diary of Emily Lutyens)
  • Ferd Wulkan
  • Dave York
[+template:(Tucker Tw ID • [+xmp:title+] — publisher • [+iptc:source+] — title • [+xmp:headline])+]

An official publication of the North American Tiddlywinks Association

16 February 1980

Edited by Rick Tucker

Paper Tiger Completes Triple Crown

by Dave Lockwood

Severin Drix, recently described as a “paper tiger” by Dave “The Dragon” Lockwood in US magazine (29 May 1979, page 22), responded to the challenge by winning the 1979 NATwA Singles crown for an unprecedented third time. Drix’s championship completed the first Triple Crown [ed.—Team (Continentals), Pairs, and Singles, for the hard of thinking] since Bill Renke in 1973. The Singles featured a start-studded field with four former champions (Bob Henninge, Severin Drix, *, and the Dragon), the number two ETwA winker (Jon Mapley), and other miscellaneous heavies (Larry “Horsemeat” Kahn, Ferd, and Joe Sachs). The only superstar not in attendance was, of course, Big Billy, a hopefully not perennial holdout. Filling out the field [ed.—what is this, a horse race?] were Rick Tucker, Nan Brady, Arye Gittelman, Fred Shapiro, Moishe, and Matt Solà.

[ed.—26 May 1979 in the MIT Mezzanine Lounge, the 83rd NATwA-sanctioned tournament.]

Round 1

Mapley gets 6 from Nan; Rick gets 2 from Sunsch; The Dragon beats Arye 6-1; Sev take[s] Ferd 6-1; Larry-Fred 6-1; andbig gameJoe takes Bob 5-2.

Round 2

Joe, Sev, & Larry take 6s off Ferd, Fred, & Moishe. The Dragon edges Jon 4-3; * doesn’t like taking 7 from Nan and (the shape of things to come) Arye 4½ – Bob 2½.

Round 3

Joe, Sev get 7 each out of Fred & Moishe. Arye gets a lesson from Ferd 6-1 and Nan stuns Rick by the same. Dave with a fine finish [ed.—who wrote this, again?] takes 5½ from *; and Jon fails in his second attempt to beat an American superstar 2-5 to Bob.

Round 4

Sev, Joe, Arye, Jon, The Dragon get 6 from Larry, Moishe, Fred, Ferd, Rick; and * becomes relevant 5-2 over Bob. Score: Sev 25, Joe 24, The Dragon 21½, * 18½, Larry 13 in 3, Jon 17, Arye 12½, Bob 11½, Nan 7 in 3, Ferd 9, Rick 4 in 3, Fred 3, and Moishe 2 in 3.

Round 5

Joe, Jon, Dave, Bob take 6 from Larry, Fred, Nan, and Rick. Arye takes 4 from Moishe and * gets a big 7 over Ferd. Joe-Larry game also big.

Round 6

*, Rick, and Larry get 6 from Fred, Ferd, and Arye. Jon gets 7 from Moishe, Bob edges Nan 4-3 andlook who’s rollingJoe gets a big 6 over Sev. Joe, *, and Jon have 36, 31½, and 30 with 6 games, and Dave and Sev have 27½ and 26 in 5.

Round 7

*, Rick, Larry, Sev get 6 from Moishe, Fred, Jon, and Arye. Bob takes Dave 5 in a pot-out (The Dragon’s first loss) and Nan comes close in a loss to Ferd 3-4. Joe starts to look unbeatableonly all-win player left although * is coming up before going down with 4 successive 1s.

Round 8

Larry, Rick, Fred, and Jon take 6 from *, Moishe, Matt, and Sev (?!). Sev pays obeisance to his idol. The Dragon eats up the Bull 7-0 and gasp, is he vulnerable? Arye upsets Joe 5-2 [note from Fred, who is not the editor: “This ended Joe’s streak of 24 wins in a row, tying Tim’s record if you believe what * says now as opposed to what he used to say (25). The streak was bracketed at both ends by Arye, beginning after the famous Pizza Game.“]

Round 9

THe Dragon and Ferd take 5½ from Fred and Bob. Sev, Larry, and Joe (what elese is new?) get 6 from *, Rick, and Jon. End of Day 1.

Score (in PPG order):

Joe 44 in 8 games, Dave 42 in 8, Sev 39 in 8, Larry 38 in 8, * 39½ in 9, Jon 38 in 9, Bob 28 in 8, Rick 24 in 8, Arye 23½ in 8, Nan 14 in 6 (left tournament), Ferd 19½ in 9, Fred 13½ in 9, Moishe 7 in 7, Matt 1 in 1.

Sunday 27 May 1979

Round 10

The biggies come out smokin’ in Round 1 on Sunday. Joe, Sev, The Dragon, Larry, Bob, and Arye get 6, 6, 7, 5, 7, and 6 respectively against *, Rick, Moishe, Matt, Fred, and Jon respectively. Upset of roundArye over Jon 6-1.

Round 11

Arye and Joe roll 6 over * and Rick. (Look at Arye!). Dave, Bob and Ferd struggle to 4½, 5, and 5 wins over Larry, Moishe and Fred.

Round 12

Arye, Larry, and * get 6 versus Rick, Bob, and Jon. The Dragon edges The Paper Tiger 4-3 and Ferd gets 5 in a potout against Moishe

Round 13 (Last Round of Prelims)

Games to watchDave-Joe [ed.—with much pre-game hassle over equipment selection, color preference, you name it.]. Joe is 4½ points ahead of Dave with Sev and Larry 8 and 9½ back respectively. Joe tries to pot out, gets 5 in and missesDave gets #6 and two rounds later loses it to let Joe get a 7 and puts Dave 11½ points back with 3 to go. Ferd becomes relevant and gets 6 against Larry to drop Mr. Meat 15½ back. Meanwhile, Jon, Arye, Sev (remember him?) and Fred get 6, 7, 6, and 5 against Rick, Matt, Bob, and Moishe. (Note: Nan and Matt games are not relevant to the tournament results).

Score at the end of Preliminaries

Full 11 games: Joe 63, Sev 54, The Dragon 51½, Larry 47½, Arye 41½, * 40½, Jon 40, Bob 38, Ferd 31½, Rick 27, Fred 14½, Moishe 13. Nan had 14 in 6 and Matt had 3 in 3.

Finals: Joe, Sev -9, The Dragon -11½, Horsemeat -15½

Finals Round 1

Larry gives Joe his second only loss of the tournamentan impressive 6-1 potout. Dave & Sev battle to a 4-3, Sev winning to tie Dave in the Singles 7-7 for the 4th time in 6 years.

Standings: Joe, Sev -6, The Dragon -9½, Larry -10½

Finals Round 2

Sev takes Larry 6-1 and Joe gets only 5 in a quadruple blitz game when he should have had a 6. A 6 would have kept Joe 6 points ahead of Sev forcing him to try for 7 to win; the 5 he got left Sev with a chance for 6 to tie. One thing is certain … there will be a Triple Crown winner in 1979.

Standings: Joe, Sev -5, The Dragon -12½2, Larry -14½

Finals Round 3

Sev needs 6. Larry and Dave play for 3rd. The Dragon beats Horsemeat 5-2 in a bad potout game and Sev, driving hard, squeaks a 6.

After all 3 playoff rounds and the 13 preliminary rounds, Joe and Severin are tied. A tie-breaker game is necessary. Momentum has shifted and a tense game expected.

Final Game

Joe has a tough pot off a wink for 5 to end the game, misses and gets 3 to give victory to Mr. Drix, the man with more NACs [ed.—North American Championships, for the hard of understanding]. than anybody, the 1979 Triple Crown winner, and the challenger to regain his World Singles crown stolen last year by the Dragon.

[ed.—The Other Playoff]

While the top Renfour were involved in a playoff to determine the tournament champion, the second four had themselves a playoff (Arye, *, Jon, and Bob, except *’s scores seem to have been nulled from the minds of all concerned.) Arye 6-1’ed Bob, and Jon took a 4½ from Bob. Then Jon won the playoff with a 6 over Arye.

The final numbers:

Sev74 in 15(4.933)
Joe73 in 15(4.866)
Dave-L61½ in 14(4.393)
Larry56½ in 14(4.036)
Jon50½ in 13(3.885)
Arye48½ in 13(3.731)
*40½ in 11(3.682)
Bob41½ in 13(3.192)
Ferd31½ in 11(2.864)
Rick24 in 11(2.455)
Fred14½ in 11(1.318)
Moishe13 in 11(1.182)
— Above exclude Nan & Matt games
— and exclude * playoff games
Nan14 in 6(2.333)
Matt3 in 3(1.000)


[ed.—A Quinn Martin production]

Subsequent to this match, in July 1979, Dave beat Alan Dean in England by a score of 62-9 [1997 Editor’s errata: this should be 32-9!] in a stunning 1-6, 6-1, 7-0, 6-1, 6-1 series. The total time elapsed was 1:40. This mans that Mr. Drix and Mr. Lockwood will meet for an unprecedented third time for the World Singles, this time on The Dragon’s turf.

Epilogue’s Epilogue

IFTwA decides to let The Dragon play Jon Mapley for the World Singles in Cambridge, England during the Silver Anniversary of the founding of modern winks.

Sunshine on Sec-Genesis

Changes in NATwA team and Continental structure have been fairly common—NATwA being a small enough body to attempt to find the best format for its membership in any given year. In not quite as consciously executed a fashion, the post of Sec-Gen has also been evolving. The question now is what is needed/desired/possible from this leadership position in 1980.

Most Sec-Gens have had a large connection to the winx publication. Equipment and publicity have been major work areas. Chairing the Congress is an annual duty. However, fading away has also been a commmon action. Carl “Spike” Chenkin, elected on a platform of “Put the Fun back in Winx”, left the job with a cry of “Put the Fun back in Spike”. Both Bill Renke and Joe Sachs stayed on much longer than they wished because no one seemed willing or able to replace them. In Joe’s case it is also true that he has not been able to keep up his early fervor and contributions. Mumblings of impeachment have been heard both in Ithaca and in Boston. As the PBTT [ed.—Power behind the throne, for those not in the know] for many Sec-Gens, I am quite familiar with the position. However, being in New Jersey makes me more of a PFF (far from) TT, and the change from frequent seeings to ineffective phone calls has been noted. This has increased the difficulty of being Sec-Gen and our next leader i hereby forewarned.

In recent months many of the traditional functions of the Sec-Gen have been delegated to others [ed.—actually, they have been assumed by others]—MITTwA is handling equipment, many sets have been sold in Ithaca, Rick Tucker is in charge of Newswink, and Fred Shapiro has done work on publicity. The major need this season, and probably next year as well, has been in the area of decision making and the necessary preliminary and follow-up communications. The location/structure of this year’s Continentals has been a most tricky issue and the choice selected is far from a group consensus. With a less active and less accessible Joe the communication has been far from optimal, resulting in the Ithaca area membership feeling ignored and, midway through January, with everyone waiting for a decision on where to go in February. Our basic decision process outside of the Congress is a vote of team representatives after discussion with the Sec-Gen, or if a vote is not possible or desired, simply a Sec-Gen decision. We have a strong need for a Sec-Gen who can be in touch with both East and West and who can also serve to oversee the execution of the decisions and the various activities of NATwA.

The favourite for the role is Arye Gittelman. As captain of MIT he has good contact with the East, the paper, and equipment. Conveniently, he is also from Ithaca. Arye, or whoever is elected, should be aware of the dangers of the post. Trying to oroganize people/things in NATwA can place one in situations that will reduce one’s interest in winx and in serving NATwA. The job is often a thankless one. Getting NATwA members to do things is often difficult, and overseeing can be frustrating, as is trying to do everything by oneself.

Theoretically, being Sec-Gen can also be nonproblematic. There have been periods that NATwA has pretty much run itself with little or no decisions/changes being necessary. Reducing the scope of the office (the delegation of responsibility) and utilizing the often ignored or empty posts of Regional Coordinators should help our next Sec-Gen deal with whatever problems 1980 will present.

I think that a shift of political influence in NATwA is a good thing… Actually, the main thing I’m retiring from is total invovlement in Winks.

— Rosie Wain, in Newswink 4; April 1971, page 3.

Lockwood Keeps World Singles
Edges Mapley

by Dave Lockwood

Dave Lockwood vs. Jon Mapley, challenger from ETwA
Cambridge, England
2 February 1980

Odd games 25 minutes, even 20 minutes, 30 second rule throughout.

Game 1. 3-3-3-1 (no winks in cup) 4⅔ – 2⅓ Dave

Any 4⅔ is an extremely tight game and I had to come back from a very bad position. I made two good Bristols in rounds and belw a pile consolidation shote. Jon blew a two inch squop he should have made.

Game 2. 7-0 Jon [Cumulative Jon 9⅓, Dave 4⅔]

Blitz. Jon missed his sixth wink well, then was able to bring it close to cup safe and pot it the next round.

Lunch break.

Game 3. 5-2 Dave [Jon 11⅓, Dave 9⅔]

Jon tries to pot out and misses. I eventually pot out and should have had 6 which would have put me ⅓ point ahead but I don’t make some easy pots and only get 5.

Game 4. 4-3 Jon [Jon 15⅓, Dave 12⅔]

Jon makes 2 foot pot in the 5th to win 4-3 instead of losing 5-2. The 5-2 would have put me ahead but instead Jon increases his lead to 2⅔ points.

Game 5. 5-2 Dave [Dave 17⅔, Jon 17⅓]

Close game which ends up with one big pile (about 18 winks). After this game it is noted that I can win in one game but Jon can’t even though we’re only ⅓ point apart.

Game 6. 7-0 Dave [Dave 24⅔, Jon 17⅓]

Blitz. Jon goes off with one color and I throw one of my non-potting color at his other color. Jon doesn’t bring in and shoots for my potting color and misses. I have six yellows in very reasonable potting position and the pot out would be a sure 7 because Jon has two of each color at the line. I run 5 then miss the 6th yellow (big wink from about 4½ inches) long to leave Jon about an 8 inch squop with blue or a 4 inch squop with red. He misses both (lucky for me), I put it in and get 7.

A great match overall, perhaps the best ever. Well organized. Sponsored by Greene King brewery (local to Cambridge area). The superior level of strategy and shot making was maintained throughout the day. Alan Dean was referee. David Rose ran the clock part of the time and Cyril Edwards did his own write-up of the match which we can get sometime.

25 Years

16 January 1980 was the 25th anniversary of the first tiddlywinks club, the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club. Guy Consterdine relates the tale of its founding in his pamphlet On the Mat (March 1967). Here are some excerpts:

Tiddlywinks as we know it today can be traced from November 1954.

Then like a thunderbolt both [R. C.] Martin and I [Bill Steen] realised it must be tiddlywinks, a game we had both enjoyed greatly in our early life. This was November 1954.

So it came about that on 16th January 1955 six undergraduates and a chaplain assembled in Bill Steen’s rooms in Christ’s College [at Cambridge University], to found the world’s first tiddlywinks club.

In those days the Marchant Rules in full were: “Remove the cup from the box and place it on a table covered with a thick cloth. Each player takes one of the large counters and all the small ones of the same colour. The latter are placed in a row at an agreed distance from the cup and players take it in turn to flip them into the cup with the large counter. If a counter is covered by one of the opponent’s, it remains out of play until the opponent plays the covering counter and the player loses his turn if there is not another counter he can play. The player who first gets all his counters into the cup is the winner.”

It was at this, the Club’s second meeting [26 January 1955] that the important decision was made about the sizes of the counters to be used. Article 10 in the Minutes sums up the proceedings thus: “After some discussion, and some practice, a proposal that the counter sizes be 4 medium and 2 large was passed by 5 votes to 3.” Had this electorate of 8 not passed the motion, the game might even today be played with 3 small winks + 3 medium + 1 large.

“This Club aims at creating history for this much-neglected yet skilful game, a game which requires self-control, dexterity, and a keen sense of direction.”
— Bill Steen, reported by Nuala Stanley in the Cambridge Daily News, around 4 February 1955.

This programme [the sis, The Science of Tiddlywinks] was “an attempt to determine the mechanics of this sport. Thereby it is hoped to gain a knowledge of the factors which affect the play of the game, and thus to eradicate, if possible, random factors for which the player is not capable of allowing, and so to prove that the game is essentially one of dexterity and skill.”

“Tuesday 14th June 1955 was the historic date of the Club’s first match … against Whitcomb’s Winkers [of the Daily Mirror]. The rendezvous was the Cock Tavern, Fleet Street, the time seven o’clock.”

It was undoubtedly discouraging to find no opponents at all for 1½ years: after June 1955 no match appeared until December 1956.

Quarter Century Classic

by Rick Tucker

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club on 16 Janruary 1955, the MIT Tiddlywinks Association hosted the Quarter Century Classic on 26 January 1980. Nine Boston-area winkers turned out for the full round-robin singles tournaments.

Arye Gittelman, MIT Captain and ender of Joe Sachs’ 24 game winning streak last May (see Lockwood’s Singles article), was himself upset by MIT frosh David desJardins 5-2 in a pot-out. The Arye-Rick Tucker game was a tense and exciting one: a superb Good shot by Arye with blue starting the 5th round sent 2 greens off the table, revealing a red controlling 3 other reds. Rick squopped the quad reds with a green from 5-6 inches to defuse the red threat and take the game 4-3. The Ross Callon-Jim Roberts game ended in the 5th round with one end of the table collapsing and winks skittering off about the room (influenced by the Great White Wink?). Ross easily won the tournament with 8 wins and a 6.06 ppg.


Arye [Gittelman]5632775237
Fred [Shapiro]2634651128
Ira S[ummer]1114641018
Rick [Tucker]44667561.539.5
David dJ [desJardins]5331555.5128.5
Ed Seim011022107
Jim R[oberts]0232254119
Ross [Callon]5675.5676648.5

Spring 1979 Tourneys

by Rick Tucker


The Scholastics Championship on 21 April 1979 saw Ithaca High School win over Cornell by the score of 17-11, with the Arye Gittelman-Mike Moore pair outshining all with 12 points in 2 games.


The North American Pairs Championship on the weekend of 12-13 May 1979 in the mirrored room at the top of the Straight tower at Cornell saw Sev Drix win his 5th Pairs title in a row, this year going undefeated with Joe Sachs. Final scores: Sev – Joe 57.5 points (10-0); * – Bob Henninge 45.5 (7-3); Dave Lockwood – Larry Kahn 43.5 (7-3); Arye Gittelman – Rick Tucker 28.5 (3-7) [Arye 22.5 (2-7)]; Dave & Phyllis Barbano 25 (3-7); Mike Moore – Matt Solà 10 (0-10 [Matt 4 (0-2)]. Celebration at Cabbagetown.

Leaving the 70s Behind


This season’s Harvest tournament (on 6 October 1979 in the MIT Mezzanine Lounge) reaped 24 winkers. * & L divided the crowd into two teams, Natural Energy and Duncan’s Donuts, played a game to a 4⅔ (“-Mary) – 2⅓ (L-Moishe), and then disappeared. The Naturals won the first 2 rounds, dropped the last 4, yet still managed to best the Donuts by a score of 100⅙ to 95⅚. Bob Henninge of Natural Energy and Dave Lockwood of Duncan’s Donuts tied for individual honors with 29½ points each in 6 games (4.92 ppg), followed by Ross Callon at 27½ and Nan Brady at 27. Five MIT freshmen played in their first NATwA matches: David desJardins, Ira Summer, Ed Seim, Duncan Hughes, and Rich Shapiro.


Cornell led. the 1979 Westerns field (after the ⅔ team round robin was completed) by ⅔ of a point over Moosewinks, but lost the playoff 15-6. The Westerns were held at Cornell on the weekend of 10-11 November. The results after the ⅔ round robin: Cornell 114⅙, Moosewinks 113½, Somerville (officially playing in the West this season, and marauding in the East), 99⅔, Ithaca High School 57⅙, and Toads 34½. A plethora of Random Marauders left their teethmarks on the felts. While no written report of this tournament other than the scoresheet has reached your editor, I am constantly being told that Larry Kahn went 11-0 for 64 points (5.82 ppg). The Westerns was the first tournament for Beverly of Moosewinks; Paul, Bobi [sic, should be: Bobbi], Bob, and Maryann [sic, should be: Marianne] of the Toads; Dan Kammen, Ed Morse, Sam Pottle, Phil Kaaret, and Bill of Ithaca High School; and Jim Roberts and In [Ellen Davis] of MITTwA.


The marauding Somervillains, led by the hot Nan Brady and Bob Henninge, took first in the Easterns in the MIT Mezzanine Lounge, 1-2 December 1979. The Relix team, looking less and less like the old Zoo with free agents Joe Sachs and Scott Hirsch [sic, should be Hirsh] (and even Dave Dragonwood Lockweed for one round) nevertheless became official Easterns title holders. The MIT Red team, captained by Arye Gittelman, placed 3d, the Chickens close behind, and MIT Blue placed 5th. An MIT Green team also played, with a hodgepodge of winkers, including once Official NATwA Photographer Dan Dern taking a 5 in his first (and as yet only) NATwA tournament game. 44 winkers played over the weekend. Final score: (Somerville 107⅙), Relix 99½, MIT Red 84⅚, Chickens 80⅓, MIT Blue 48⅙. Lockwood played to his first tournament tie in a game with Tina Warren against Bob Henninge and Michael Krasner, and agreed upon a 3½ score for another game which was disrupted in a way not conveyed to your editor.

All in all, the 1979-1980 season has shown great promise for American winks, as participation has increased markedly this year.

Sunshine on Continentals Format

After much debate, and pending the final team count on arrival at the Continentals, a ⅓ round-robin format was selected for this year’s match [ed.—this may not still be so.]. The surviving 4 teams would then play additional games to complete a 12 game match. The Regionals did not count and were to have no influence on the Continentals. Some spoke of extending this not counting philosophy to the Continentals as well.

What would not counting mean? A format that would not offend any part of the membership would be necessary—those who wanted to view the match as counting should be able to still see the Continentals this way. People would still want to play games, have scores, individual records, etc. Some match structure would be needed to avoid chaos and unwanted inefficiency. To me, the question of counting seems to depend on the concept of Team identity. Teams have evolved either on a geographic or personal basis and have strong identities. A pure choose up teams on the spot match would probably please very few NATwA members. But consider the following:

The expected teams would enter the match and the decided-on form of schedule drawn up. However, before each round teams could trade players. This would allow winkers to play with some formerly unavailable partners (and by mutual consent) but would not undermine team identity more than any team so desired. The Rule could be defined in many ways—the trade could be permanent for the remainder of the tourney (undone only by a reverse trade) or only for the given round. Trades could be restricted to being carried out only between teams playing each other in the particular round. A limit of 1 or 2 trades per team per round could be stipulated, etc., etc.

It’s unclear how much trading would occur. Most players are on a team because those are the winkers they know best, most enjoy playing with. But playing aginst one’s teammates is an enjoyable option. I doubt that this structure could be pushed through for this year’s Continentals but I do think it could be considered for some future matches.

Sparse Report on the 1979 Congress

Here are my impressions on what transpired at the 1979 Continental Congress. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

The Congress was replete with a long agenda, although most of the items were ignored in order to get done as quickly as possible, as usual.

Joe Sachs agreed to remain as Secretary-General of NATwA, seeing no one else willing to take on the job, with the request that regional coordinators take some of the work into their own hands.

One item on the agenda was the consideration of Joe Sachs’ The Rules of Four-Color Tiddlywinks (a supplement to Newswink 9) for adoption as official rules by NATwA. My impression was that the rules were accepted with a number of amendments. First, the official name of the game we play was legislated to be Tournament Tiddlywinks. Secondly, on squidge-offs, it was decided that after two colors (from each pair) had squidged-off, the partner of the closer color should squidge third. A suggested revision to the loss-of-next-shot rule for sending one’s own wink(s) off the table, in which the next shot would be lost for sending any wink off the table, was defeated after an emotional speech by Moishe. A new rule was approved regarding the freeing shot after a squop-out. The new rule requires an attempt to free on that shot. In other words, a shot not specifically oriented toward freeing a wink of the squopped-out pair is illegal; the pair on top may not even attempt to pot out on the freeing turn. What the penalty would be for transgressing this new rule was not made clear.

Other rules revisions embodied in the rules submitted by Joe have been accepted in actual play. These include (a) if a pair is squopped-out when the time limit expires, the first turn after the freeing turn automatically is in the zeroeth round; (b) the squidger must apply a downward force in a shot; (c) the squidge-off winner is determined by the final positions of the four winks; (d) the penalty for shooting a wink of one’s own color off the table is loss of next shot, not turn.

Anti-Renaissance Movement / Free Agents Situation

by Sunshine

At the 1976 Congress, when the Zoo was on its way to a second straight title (and 3rd in 4 years), there was much talk on the question of legislation restricting team and individual freedom. Bill Gammerdinger had “jumped” teams and the free agent era, seen in other sports, was around the corner. This also was the year that a number of boondocked winkers returned to form a team of their own. Of course, the minutes of the Congress are not available. Some remember the passage of a proposal that a team winning three straight titles would have to break up (hopefully, into 2 teams). It was also decided not to restrict individual freedom in choosing teams and after the meeting, Renaissance was formed out of some of the strongest players on Rivendell, Cornell, MIT, and the Boonies.

Since this time Renaissance has won 3 straight Continentals with only slight personnel changes. Their long awaited break-up was announced for this season as Dave Lockwood and Joe Sachs (2 of their big 4 that had finished 1-2-3-4 in the 1979 Singles) left the team. However, recent developments have Dave reported joining Moosewinks, a team of 4 former Renaissance players, a novice, and a free agent. Does this constitute a break-up of Renaissance? Does the proposal of 4 years ago make a break-up obligatory? What does this say about Dave’s freedom of choice?

And what is the current free-agent situation? Going into this season there was a record number of veterans either joining teams or being unsure of where to play (Rich Steidle to Moosewinks, Fred Shapiro and Ross Callon to MITTwA, Scott Hirsch [sic, should be Hirsh] and Joe Sachs to Relix, Dave Lockwood and Charles Frankston and maybe others to ?). New teams are not a NATwA tradition. It is easier to join them than start a team. Existing teams prefer to pick up an available veteran and strengthen themselves than to find new players. The motivation for starting new teams is lacking. The question is whether anything should/could be done about the situation. Many object to legislation ruling on where one can play, on forcing recruitment, etc. In any case, the relevant issues should at least be discussed so that we can at least hear what NATwA thinks/cares about it all.

* * * * *

I don’t think it’s good for NATwA for these people to float around and land with different teams every year. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s good for all of them to gather together to form one team, either.

— Bill Renke, in Newswink 4; April 1971, page 3

Ferd, however, perceived that the long range growth of winking would be best assured if the fertile college clubs were not plugged up with veterans.

— Return of the Missing Wink; November 1976, page 7

Renaissance: let no one be mistaken, we are definitely trying to win, but in a respectable manner. … Hope to be accepted as a legitimate team.

— My Winkly Reader; February 1977, page 9

Renaissance ended the Zoo stranglehold on the team championship with little resistance, smashing each team head to head, winning with the largest margin of victory in recent history.

— My Winkly Reader; December 1977, page 4


An Apology to Novices and Other Newcomers

by Dave Lockwood

A persistent problem in winks is the difficulty for new winkers to know members of winks’ “inner-circle” much less become members of it. As with all problems, there are a number of reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, it should be stressed that the only hard and fast rule is that there are no other hard and fast rules. In other words, not all newcomers and not all veterans are subject to all aspects of this problem (Author’s note: you can fool some of the people all the time).

One reason for this relative ostracism is that veterans hesitate to welcome newcomers with open arms because they (the veterans) have seen a myriad of novices and many, if not most, decide not to invest their time in such a frivolous, childish activity. It’s all a matter of one’s own priorities. Secondly, playing with a novice against any reasonable opposition is often very frustrating. A widely used strategy when playing against a veteran and a novice is to go at the veteran’s winks whenever possible. Then when the veteran is involved in piles and perhaps eventually squopped out, the other pair can mop up the novice while the veteran has to rely on the novice to free him. Bob Henninge is the best example of a veteran who gets “more out of a novice” than would be expected, so there are strategies to somewhat offset the relative disadvantages but they are not the most optimal strategies.

Thirdly, veterans of five, ten, and even more years have had numerous get-togethers outside of playing games in tournaments. Most of these are meals, bowling, or smoking after a day of winks and these are activities that newcomers can get involved in.

Lastly, of course, some of you newcomers may just be boring people generally.

“The slowness of genius is hard to bear, but the slowness of mediocrity is intolerable.”H. T. Buckle 1021-62via Winking World 28; January 1977, page 7

Recent Records

Pot     128
Bring-ln   14
Squop    19

General Comment on the Use and Misuse of Rules

The purpose of playing Tiddlywinks is enjoyment. There is no financial gain to be had by winning and the “prestige” and “honour” or a Tiddlywinks Champion is indeed limited. Accordingly, if people do not enjoy playing, they will soon give up the game and before long it will die out.

The pleasure to be derived from Tiddlywinks is greatly reduced if anybody, through over-anxiety to win at all costs, resorts to “gamesmanship” of the worst sort, for instance by time-wasting, by continuously negative play, or by a narrow-minded and ungentlemanly interpretation of the Rules. It is impossible and undesireable to lay down legislation to cover every eventuality in the game. Inevitably a great deal must be left to the good sense of the players.

The game of Tiddlywinks is thought of by the vast majority of people as being petty and childish. Only if we who openly profess to be Tiddlywinks enthusiasts, make every effort to ensure that Tiddlywinks matches and tournaments are occasions noted for their friendliness and good humour, can this game survive, let alone expand.

— The Winking World No. 3, January 1963, page 3

“Winks is considered a gentleman’s game. There is no need for constant supervision. It’s a fun game. There’s no real ‘kill’ mentality as in football and hockey. It’s more like golf. The players declare their own foul shots.”

— Joe Sachs, as quoted in the Boston Herald American; 25 April 1978, page 1

Has winkdom become a felt jungle where jackals with sharp squidgers pounce on weekend squoppers to pad their egos and averages?

— Bob Henninge, in My Winkly Reader, February 1977, page 3

On what level is winks a game? How much random chance is involved? Some people believe and play the game as a contest of physical skill and logical strategy. Those who know the game best, however, know that the most dramatic influence is the Gandalf effect. This effect involves many levels of psychic energy. …

It is my thesis that the “new breed” is having a tough time getting incorporated (even after two or more years) because they don’t realize what Tiddlywinks is all about….

Therefore all this obnoxiousness that is creeping (or is it too late for that tense?) into NATwA is really a failure to see the harmony that exists between all four winkers and all twenty-four winks.

— Missing Wink; May 1974, page 6

Why is it necessary for current and future winkers to follow in the footsteps of our illustrious predecessors? …

I now describe the game as a sort of physical chess. …

Solidarity seems to imply that the new winkers should have to approach you oldsters rather than the other way around.

— Dave Lockwood, in Missing Wink; August 1974, page 2

I am sympathetic to the feelings of old-timers that winks should remain a close-knit circle where everyone knows everyone else. In this view, expansion brings in undesireable outsiders who will not “fit in”. Yet I also think that tiddlywinks is a fabulous game that should be enjoyed by as many people as possible. The rewards of popularity and publicity also appeal to me. These considerations outweigh the previous ones in my mind.

— Fred Shapiro, in Newswink; May 12, 1978, page 3

I think that since the early seventies NATwA has greatly improved, making the game much more conducive to new recruits. We may not have as many teams, but they are stronger, both in stability and enthusiasm as well as in play.

— Joe Sachs, in Newswink; May 12, 1978, page 4

It is thought that the expansion of NATwA will continue at its remarkable rate.

— Newswink 4; April 1971, page 1

One of the most disappointing developments in the last year or so has been the tendency for teams to concentrate on squopping to such an extent as to turn the game into a farce. Over-concentration on squopping, while tactically successful as far as sheer results are concerned, makes the game tedious for the vast majority of players, incomprehensible to the spectator, and generally likely to “bring the game into disrepute”. Added to this, there is some uncertainty as to what exactly constitutes a fair desquopping shot.

— The Winking World 1; February 1961, page 2

TIDDLYWINKS could become a tremendous power for good throughout the country. It can give back health and mental stability to those who are ravaged by the complexity and over-mechanisation of modern life. Through its low cost and the universality of its appeal, TIDDLYWINKS can enter smoothly and naturally into family life, restoring balance to the brain distorted by the incessant watching of the inanity of television. Just as TIDDLYWINKS will bring a new unity to family life, so may it exert an equally beneficial influence on international relations

— Peter Downes, 1958The Winking World 5; March 1964, page 6

When in doubt, bring in a wink. …

It is usually better in the long run to play conservative strategies than aggressive ones.

— Dave Lockwood, in Return of the Missing Wink; November 1976, page 5

You’ve got to lose in order to learn how to win.

— Dave Lockwood, in My Winkly Reader; February 1977, page 15

In 1971-1972 however, the strategical aspects of the game began to be much more examined, experimented with, understood, and finally put to practical use. It finally got to the point where strategical excellence could even dominate over better technical play in a game.

Players are starting to experiment with, and actually use in game situations, difficult shots. No longer is simple potting and squopping enough. These skills are passing into certainty. Difficult piddles, potting winks from piles, confident long-range squopping, etc., are getting to be seen more often now and are being used to win games.

— Newswink; February 1975

Tiddlywinks is the best game I’ve ever played because it combines the three most important elements of all games – luck, skill, and strategy.

— Tim Schiller, in My Winkly Reader; February 1977

Philosophy from Winks

by Dave Lockwood

  1. Everything changes everything.
  2. The only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves.
  3. Only the past is certain.
  4. If you’ve done all you can about a particular problem, there is no sense worrying about it.
  5. Decide later, think of alternatives now.

My philosophy in preparing stats for winx publications has been to try to come up with strange/obscure/esoteric/confusing statistics in the hope that most people would find at least some of them interesting.

– Sunshine, in Written Word, July 5, 1978, page 2

Stat/Records since Triangular Match Feb 1967 (MIT Cornell Harvard):

game scoreJan 1972Jan 1980
games1124 4577 
matches19 87 

— January 1972 stats from Newswink 5; February 1972, page 13; January 1980 stats through Quarter Century Classic, according to computer.

 Stats Rampant by Sunshine

Here are some single season pairs marks:

season pair          w  l  points
1971-2 * Mary        37-19 235⅓
1972-3 Dave-L Larry  26-12 163
1972-3 * Bi11-G      26-13 161½
1970-1 * Naomi       23-14 150½
1974-5 Bill-R Dave-Y 23- 4 130
1974-5 Scott Craig   22- 6 131
1971-2 Tim Franz     21- 3 123⅔

… 6 others with 20 wins


Nan Brady’s 22-4 record ties * (1971) and Dave Lockwood (1976) for wins in the fall.

Nan has also established women’s highs for wins in 25 (21) and 50 (34) game periods.

Rare Scores:

Dave Lockwood scored his 1st 3½ after 415 games. Bill Renke has an untied streak of 356.

Don Fox scored his first 7 after 245 games.


Larry at 357 games has no 4⅔ score, behind *’s record 418, which ended when Moishe scored his 1st 2⅓ after 336 games. Bill Renke at 380 and Dave Lockwood at 419 have no 2⅓s, Dave’s being therefore the longest streak without any given score.

[Stats are as of 20 January 1980]

[# of games are approximate as recent scoresheets were not available]

[Note from Fred: Perhaps even more remarkable, however, are the feats of L in playing all of his 187 games without a 4½ and Carl’s going all of his 157 games without a 1½.]

More Stats Rampant

by Fred Shapiro

Through the Quarter Century Classic


0: Charles 12; Dave L, Joe, Rick, Fred 9

1: Moishe 94; * 91; Charles 82

1½: Bob 18; Fred 12; Mary, Moishe 11 2: Joe 30; Bob, Dave L 29

2⅓: Bob 4; Larry, Dean, Barry, Dan B 3

2½: TDI, Bob 10; Larry, Moishe, Craig 9 3: Bob 52; Ferd 48; * 34

3½: Sev 8; * 5; Larry, Mary, Ferd 4

4: * 53; Dave L 43; Bob, Bill R 40

4½: Craig 13; Dave L 12; Bob 9

4⅔: Sev 5; Mary 4; Bill R, Scott, MP 3 5: Bob 62; Ferd 53; * 52

5½: Bob, Ferd 22; *, Moishe 19 6: Sev 214; * 180; Ferd 170

7: Dave L 33; Bill R 32; Sev, Larry 27


7-0: Dave L 42; Bill R 34; Joe 32

6-1: Sev 286; * 271; Ferd 237

5½-1½: Bob 40; Moishe 30; *, Ferd 29

5-2: Bob 91; Ferd 81; *80

4⅔-2⅓: Sev 7; Mary, Bob 6

4½-2½: Craig 22; Dave L, Bob 19; TDI 18

4-3: Bob 92; * 87; Ferd 81

3½-3½: Sev 8; * 5; Larry, Mary, Ferd 4

statS eroM teY

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retupmoc yb statS

Career Pairs Totals (through 8 Feb 1980)

Dave-L Larry10072-284.485448.5
Bob Ferd8868-204.939434.66
Tim Franz7256-15-14.828347.66
Bob Nan7248-244.060292.33
Dave-B Phyllis-B7141-29-13.626257.5
Ferd Betsy7139-31-13.866274.5
Ferd Don6839-294.240288.33
Bili-R Bill-66748-194.649311.5
* Bill-G6644-224.242280
Dave-L Joe6441-234.109263
* Mary6441-234.078261
Bill-G Dean6333-303.632228.83
Sev Dave-P5644-10-24.943276.83
Charles Martin5533-21-13.890214
Ken-M John-Reppy5331-223.707196.5
Larry Rick5238-144.250221.
Sev Larry4940- 7-25.200254.83
Rosie Andy-T4931-184.571224
Bill-R Jim-M4929-19-14.013196.66
• Jeff-W4538- 75.066228
Bill-R Dave-Y4437- 74.943217.5
Bill-R Ross3125- 65.516171
Sev Joe2221- 0-15.727126

The Dragon Cup

The Dragon’s Invitational Singles Tournament – 8 September 1979, Little Ferry NJ

Dave-L Fred   * TDI    Joe Bill-G   Bob
     7-0    5.5-1.5      6-1         |
     7-0    6-1          6-1         |
     --------------      -------------
      Dave-L 3-4 *        Joe 1-6 Bob
             6-1              1-6
             7-0               |
               Dave-L 6-1 Bob

Winkers’ Return Awaited

[reprinted from Newswink 9 of a year ago]

As of this date, the return of the last remnants of the American summer expedition to the British Isles is expected soon. Bob, Severin, Josef and Buck were last seen not more than a block from Victoria Station winding their way down the Laker queue. This correspondent is here only by dint of the fact that he stayed on to tour most of Europe and chanced to take Pan Am back from Amsterdam.

For those who haven’t heard yet, a crew of U.S. winkers (Severin, Bob, MP, Larry, Charles, Joe, Buck, and Lee (well, he didn’t start out a winker, but…)) roamed the British Isles this summer (oh yes, Lokweed was there too, he didn’t roam though (is he an American winker??)). There was opportunity for several tournaments as well as much touring. I for one am pleased to state that the reported death of English winking seems to be greatly exaggerated. Although many of the British may not share our attitudes towards increasing winking numbers, I feel the British play the game for much the same reason most of us do… it’s fun. I am happy to report the comaraderie of winking continues across the ocean. The British showed us fine hospitality. Special thanks to Jon Mapley who met us so aptly at Victoria station with a winks mat in one arm and an American flag in the other. Keith Seaman, Cyril Edwards and Mick Still for the accommodations in London, Geoff and Chris Cornell for the excellent dinner in Cambridge, Steve Welch for fine winking among snow covered highlands, Alan Dean for hosting the most enjoyable All Play All Tournament, Charles Relle for playing cook and chauffer while giving us the perfect model of a winks patriarch, and Mick Still again for his infinitely expanding floor. This was, of course, the first trip for all us except Dave and Severin, and upon reflection, I can only regret that the abyss between these two great winking communities is bridged so infrequently. I fervently hope that soon some of the British winkers may have an opportunity to sample our hospitality.

Of course, some fine winks was played on this tour. Disappointingly, after all I had heard about El Supremo (Alan Dean lor the uninformed), he was certainly not in legendary form during our tour. However, our Pan American correspondent reports that Alan is once again English singles champion, proving that the Supreme Dean cannot be kept down for long. If Alan Dean was not in form though, it would seem the rest of Great Britain was, as one might gather from the following articles.

World All Stars:

U. S. Collapses at the Tape!

Geoff Cornell’s reporting of this tournament in Winking World #31 is so superb, I could not conceive of writing another. From WW #31 via Newswink 9:

Great Britain v. U.S.A July 15

Venue: Goldsmith’s College, London

The appearance of a Great Britain side may have been a desperate attempt to preserve England’s unbeaten status. More charitably, perhaps, it took account of Steve Welch who travelled down on the overnight bus from Edinburgh. Eight British winkers assembled to give battle with the Americans. The venue? A classroom in Goldsmith’s College! Perhaps the Americans were right to find the tables and mats inadequate, but Cyril had played his cards right: Goldsmith’s College was that day playing host to the South London Cat Show, and the presence of moggies meant that the college bar had an extension into the vacation.

The British side was uncomfortable at first: it was discovered that some of the team had been practising! They soon decided on pairings: Jon Mapley with Dave Rose, Geoff Cornell and Alan Dean; the question of Cyril was resolved by pairing him with Keith, leaving Charles Relle and Steve Welch surprised to be playing together. The Americans were more devious: initially they wanted to change their pairings each round, but eventually they agreed that change was possible between the members of pairs 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 at the end of the second and sixth rounds, and a total change possible at the end of the fourth. If the reader is now bemused, read on: it doesn’t get any clearer! The first four rounds were played to the American 25 minute time limit, the second four to 20 minutes. In general English rules were agreed to, though in any disagreement IFTwA was to be called in. Dave Lockwood, who is IFTwA, said he’d try to be impartial: or else toss a coin!…… so with all that decided, we were away. The flags were unfurled (yes, really!), the press took pictures (before he went somewhere else) and the Americans gave us a winking song. The British stood around looking nonchalant, but fearing a repetition of the exhibition of winks they had been subjected to on the M.l.T. tour of 1972. Against American know-how, at least we had age on our side. Yes, Charles was playing!

Scarcely had the match commenced, fingers flexed, squidgers warmed, rules remembered, that Jon was seen wandering around the other matches. He had potted out. His was not the first wink into the pot: Alan had achieved that from the baseline, but he and Geoff went on to lose 5-2 in a poor opening game. Keith entered the pot with a long shot under pressure at the end of his game to ensure a 6-1 victory, and with Charles and Steve winning 4-3 the British found themselves leading 18-10 at the end of the first round. Hope began to stir.

Spurred on by his success in Round one, Lockweed attempted another pot-out in round two. Five flew in beautifully, but not so the sixth… but at least he got his in before Dave Rose who was matching his pot-out attempt, and so Lockweed and Buck notched up another 5-2. With two other American pairings scoring 4½-2½ victories, it was left to Alan and Geoff to produce the only British win of the round, a 4-3 after being snowed under most of the game. The Americans won the round 17-11, and were only two points down after two rounds. Lockweed & Buck were, even at this early stage, the only unbeaten pair!

Round three saw the British suffering the same fate as in round two. The American third and fourth pairings had exchanged partners (a fact your correspondent only found out at half-time) and Lockweed continued his winning run, this time with Charles in defeating Cyril and Keith 4-3, although it must be said that their victory was largely due to inane British tactics, and Keith’s ability to pot an opponent’s wink in round five [agreed, simply passing would have ensured 5 lor England! -ed]. Lunch, the Americans as if in caricature drinking Cokes, saw them four points in the lead.

Winks on one of the mats had a propensity to roll, whether due to the hard table or the thin mat. Jon decided that this was the round to prove it, sending two off, and placing two on the edges out of his original six. He still got a 5-2 victory however. Cyril & Keith beat Larry & Buck 5-2, and Lockweed’s winning run ended as he missed a vital pot and lost 3-4. Meanwhile Alan and Geoff were enjoying a struggle against Bob and Joe. Although the British pair were on top the Americans never allowed them to relax, and in rounds they freed enough of one of their colours to pot for a 4-3 victory. These scores meant the round score was 16-12 to Great Britain, and all sat back with a certain satisfaction as, at the end of four rounds, the score was 56 apiece. Clearly it had been right to play an eight round match.

The Americans decided to change their pairings. The British had just about worked out who their partners were. However, relieved that Cyril was coping so well with Keith, and unable to think of any other permutations, the British decided to soldier on as they were.

It looked a bad move. The new American pairings did well in round five, with two 6-I s and scoring 3 and 2½ in their two defeats. The results in round six were similar, even though Geoff and Alan had the satisfaction, at the end of another struggle against Bob (this time playing with Buck), of turning the tables and squeezing out a 4-3 victory. But Britain was now thirteen points adrift, 90½ to 77½, with only two rounds to go.

The hour of six had struck. To our visitors a moment lacking in significance. British winking hearts rose: it was opening time! A short trip to the Marquis of Granby, where, sadly, only a gassy Worthington E was available. Need conquered palate, and whilst the Americans sat in the College, reflecting on their comfortable position, the British, clutching their ale, listened to their captain’s pep talk. The Brian Clough of English winking kept it simple. We’ll get 20 points this round, he announced between swallows, and we’ll cruise home in the last round when they’re demoralised. It sounded fine in the pub. All agreed, prevented Cyril from having another, and lurched back to play, lighter in heart, head, and pocket.

Perhaps it was overconfidence that made Severin decide to go for the killer blow. His attempt at a pot-out against Alan and Geoff failed, and they were annoyed at only scoring a 5-2 victory. Cyril and Keith beat Larry and MP by the same score. Charles and Steve scored a 4-3 victory. But gradually all eyes were turning to the other table, where an open game saw Jon’s hold on a pile in enemy territoiy threatened. Jon decided to pot his way out of trouble. The first, that bridging the pile under threat, flew into the pot, and the other five soon followed. Even better Dave Rose’s six soon joined his partner’s in the pot: a 7-0 victory at a vital time. Britain had gained 21 points to 7 in the round, and led by one point, 98½ to 97½ as the last round began.

In that round Charles and Steve were soon in control and all knew they were (leading for a 6-1. Alan and Geoff were similarly placed as their opponents, Lockweed and Charles, disturbed by their 0 score of the previous round, disturbed each other more and played worse. Keith was having a nightmare game, but came good in rounds, potting to a 3-4 defeat; and Jon and Dave played out the last rites against Severin and Joe, losing 4-3.

So Britain took the round 19-9 and the match 117½ to 106½.

After the match a transatlantic winkers’ lament was sung, and the frisbee became a solace. The British looked bemused but happy. All were exhausted. No doubt there have been such turnarounds in winks matches before, some numerically even more surprising, but given the importance of the match, surely none as dramatic as on this occasion. Perhaps writ large was the problem of the side on top tightening up, whilst those chasing were looser—yes, even on Worthington E!

Yes folks, it’s true. In retrospect, the American team must confess, most of its members had not really practiced for the tour. More importantly, the post mortem discussions seem to indicate that we tried too many untested partnerships in too crucial a match. Alas, it’s not clear that could have been helped, since only 4 of the team were able to make it to the practice weekend in New Jersey before. Excuses as they may be however, the match was close. For the number of games and the intensity of play, it was the most dramatic match it has been this writer’s pleasure to participate in, including the photo-finish 1976 North American Continentals. To be even at the end of a full 4 round match is itself significant. To be behind by 13 points and then to win convincingly alter 2 more rounds demonstrates a winking spirit that perhaps cannot be attributed to the effects of alcohol alone. The quality ol play on both sides throughout the match showed that it was truely world class winks. I for one am thankful of the opportunity I have had to participate in this match, and hope to be able to play in the next one as soon as possible.

World Teams:

Renaissance back to dark ages?

Reprinted from Winking World #31 via Newswink 9:

NEWTS v. Renaissance July 16

Venue: Goldsmith’s College, London

For the Americans, this was more important than the International of the previous day. Where has patriotism gone? Renaissance fielded six of the International side, whilst NEWTS had four, and were joined by the formidable Still-Wiseman pairing who caused the first laugh of the day by being named Pair 1. Cyril opened the proceedings with a request for speedy play, a cause he was to champion with increasing ferocity as the weekend progressed. He had only booked the room from 10-3 … and as the match did not start until 11 and was supposed to be six rounds, reflex winks would seem to be the only solution. Mick and Mick opened their assault by asking their opponents, Joe and Larry, whether they were any good. Their reply, that they were pair one, was really no answer to the Micks, who were in that position themselves. Their further reply, a 6-1 victory, was perhaps more telling. Keith had regained his composure after a night’s rest, and he and Cyril won 6-1, and with Jon and Charles winning 4-3 NEWTS scoied 11-10 in round one. Round two repeated the score, though less comfortably, even though Cyril produced a potting shot that was both successful and unconventional to ensure a 3-4 defeat. Mick and Mick scored 2½ points.

Two rounds were over in two hours. Reality had to be faced. Dave Lockwood wanted to continue playing, but with a liquid lunch beckoning the English, a 20 minute break was decided on, reducing the match to four rounds. The Americans waited behind, annoyed that there should be a time restriction on such an important match. The English went to the pub. As they returned, Cyril obtained permission for a time extension, rendering the six rounds possible. But the annoyance, and the ale, had its effect and the English advanced further ahead. Mick and Mick continued their progress, scoring 3, Cyril and Keith 5, and Jon, playing this round with Andy Vincent, drafted in to replace Charles who had returned home for a more substantial lunch, scored 6. At halfway therefore NEWTS led 36-27.

At this point Renaissance organised their pairings on the English pattern, playing tried partnerships, and their weaker players, Buck and MP, together. So Dave Lockwood and Joe played together, as did the long overdue pairing of Severin and Larry. The English had been anticipating their playing together, not least in light of their challenge for the World Pairs Championships. However the wisdom of their pairing was questioned when they lost 4-3 to Mick and Mick. Their comrades did better, however, MP & Buck beating Jon and Charles 5 1/2-1½ and Lockweed and Joe winning an enthralling match with Cyril and Keith 4½ – 2½, when in rounds both sides were potting furiously and few winks remained on the mat at the end. This 13-8 round to Renaissance brought them within four points of NEWTS, and this difference disappeared in the next round. Jon and Charles were engulfed by Severin and Larry 6-1, whilst for Mick and Mick the strain of winning had become too great, and they returned to less exalted scores with a 1½ – 5½ defeat by Lockweed and Joe. Although Cyril and Keith scored 6, the changed Renaissance pairings were having their desired effect, and the scores were level on 52½ each as the last round commenced.

When your correspondent returned from a game of frisbee he found Charles all smiles. He had potted out. Fine potting by Renaissance and less fine by Jon left him with all six winks on the mat and only a 5-2 victory. Cyril and Keith lost 3-4 to Severin and Larry, due partly to their missing potting chances. And so the focus of the world of winks turned to the last table where, you’ve guessed, Mick and Mick were playing. Their experience and ability to pot under pressure [Or the USA lack of it -ed] saw them through 5-2, true heroes, winning the match for NEWTS, though perhaps not entirely deserving of their pair one station.

Final score: NEWTS 65½, Renaissance 60½.

Historical Gleanings

by Fred Shapiro

In the course of our obsessive researches into the history of “the children’s game of” [ed. – his words, not mine] tiddlywinks and of our own “tournament” game, Rick Tucker and I have made a number of discoveries tending to contradict conceptions that have been popular among winkers. Most of our research is of interest only to specialists, but some of these discoveries may be of general interest.

(1) The game of tiddlywinks, usually said to be “ancient”, appears in fact to have been invented around 1888 by Joseph Assheton Fincher of London, about whom we know only that he was a “gentleman”. Fincher’s patent on the new game [ed. – see elsewhere in this issue] was a very broad one; he even patented the very act of flipping winksl (When I related this information to Joe Sachs, he expressed concern that he would have to pay royalties on every pot he had ever made.)

(2) Far from having invented the idea of purposeful squopping, the Cambridge winkers were merely reviving a very old idea. In fact, a French counter-squopping game is recorded in 1856 [ed. – see Au Crapault in this issue], 32 years prior to the development of the tiddlywinks pot game of Fincher. Squopping is therefore older than potting.

(3) As suggested in Fleas, Severin Drix’ story that our game was started by a Cambridge student who needed to be president of three clubs to make an honor society is without foundation in fact.

(4) Also as suggested in Fleas, the size of the winks was not a compromise between Cambridge and Oxford, each of whom wanted one size, but was the result of an early vote within the Cambridge team.

(5) The double-squop strategy was not introduced by Oxford, but by the Bolton brothers of Bristol (sounds like a Wild Western gang), who first used it against the pair of … Phil Villar and Michael Crick, who knew a good thing when they saw it and popularized double-squop (this according to Crick).

(6) The early Harvard players were not as amateurish as we have thought. Various pieces of evidence suggest to me that they practiced a lot among themselves, and that the best of them were almost as good as the English.

(7) As indicated elsewhere in this issue, there was a person named Carnovsky, and there are witnesses who claim that he stepped up to a winks table without ever having played before and potted 4, 5, 6, some say 7 in a row from the corner and then retired, having nothing left to accomplish in the game. I would be interested to hear from anyone in our generation of winkers who has ever, under any circumstances, Carnovskyed more than two in a row. Larry?

(8) There was an MIT Tiddlywinks team, in fact two, prior to Ferd’s emergence as “pope and progenitor”. In 1962-era winks, MIT was one of the few schools other than Harvard to play more than one match, and MIT-vs.-women’s-college matches seem to have been the only ones not to include Harvard in that era. MIT usually lost to the women’s schools, and does not appear ever to have taken on Harvard.

A New and Improved Game

No 16,215 A. D. 1888

Date of Application, 8th Nov., 1888

Complete Specification Left, 8th Aug., 1889

– Accepted, 19th Oct., 1889


A New and Improved Game.

[I, ] JOSEPH ASSHETON FINCHER 114 Oxford Street London, W. Gentleman do hereby declare the nature of this invention to be as follows:–

A new and improved game played with two sets of counters of different sizes and a bowl made of china or some other substance, or small pieces of wood, counters, and a bowl, the object of the pieces of wood, or of the larger counters being to press the edge of the smaller counters and cause them to jump into the bowl.

Dated this Eighth day of November 1888.



A New and Improved Game.

I, JOSEPH ASSHETON FINCHER 9, Berners Street London W. Gentleman, do hereby declare the nature of this invention and in what manner the same is to be performed, to be particularly described and ascertained in and by the following statement:–

A new and improved game played with counters or flippers made of wood, ivory, bone, or other substance, and a bowl or vessel of any shape, made of wood, china, glass, ivory, or other substance, the object of the said counters or flippers being to press the edge of a smaller set of counters provided for the purpose and so cause them to jump into the bowl or vessel placed in the centre of he table, vide drawing in which A represents the hand of the player, B the larger counter or flipper, C the smaller counter, and D the bowl; by drawing the flipper B sharply backwards and at the same time pressing downwards, the small counter C is made to jump into the bowl D.

Having now particularly described and ascertained the nature of my said invention and in what manner the same is to be performed, f declare that what I claim is.

1st. The use of a bowl or vessel of any shape made of wood, china, glass, ivory or other substance, for playing the above described game.

2nd. The act of flipping a counter of any shape made of wood, ivory, bone, or other substance into a bowl or vessel of any shape, made of wood, china, glass, ivory, bone or other substance.

3rd. The use of a counter, or flipper, made of wood, ivory, bone, or other substance for the purpose of flipping the aforenamed counter, mentioned in claim 2, into the bowl or vessel.

Dated this 7th day of August 1889.


London: Printed for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, by Darling & Son, Ltd.-1889

[Price 6d.]

Au Crapault, Puceaux!

In Rabelais’ Gargantua, written around 1534, is a long list of games played by the title character (“Les jeux de Gargantua”). Among these games is crapault [meaning toad in French], which in one annotated edition is compared with a game that involves the idea of squopping. The 1856 edition of Oeuvres de Rabelais, edited by Burgaud des Marets et Ratheiy, Livre I, Chapitre XXII, page 89 notes that:

“Nous avons entendu nommer ainsi un jeu dans lequel on fait sauter un jeton sur un autre, a I’aide d’un troisieme que Ton appuie dessus.” [We have heard of a game of this name in which one makes a disc jump onto another, using a third to press upon it.]

Carnovsky Legend Clarified?

Life magazine’s 14 December 1962 issue had an article featuring Harvard’s Gargoyle Undergraduate Tiddlywinks Society. Therein is described how Carnovsky made its way into winks jargon (page 122):

They perfected the crowd-pleasing “Carnovsky,” named after Steve Carnovsky, varsity candidate who sank four table-length shots in a row during fall practice. (Weaker at short range, Carnovsky failed to make the team.)

Anxious to hear the details of Carnovsky’s feat, Rick Tucker dashed off a letter to Steve Carnovsky, and promptly received the following.

Stephen B. Carnovsky
1953 Kemper Circle,
Los Angeles, California 90065
(213) 222-0335

Nov. 21, 1978

Dear Richard;

Tiddlywinks is it?! After all these years (16 of them) still there are repercussions from my big feat. Of course, I have tried in numerous other ways (which we won’t go into at this time) to make my mark on an unwilling world but so far “The crowd-pleasing Carnovsky” seems to have been my most durable, public impression, thanks to Life, the NATwA and you. Keep up the good work. And please, convey my best wishes to Fred Shapiro and the rest of the jocks at Harvard.

Now then; my feat. So long a time passing weighs down the memory but lends wings to the imagination. One must make allowances for both. Sometime in November or early December of 1962, darkness had fallen on Eliot House. The early chill was in the air. Across the Charles, Yale had been defeated. My love life was in a shambles—nothing unusual. Academically, things could have been better – also nothing unusual. Leaving the dining hall that evening, I was naturally reluctant to climb back up to my 5th floor room (Eliot G51) where only work awaited me. So instead, I paid a call on some friends who lived on the 1st floor. How could I have known the finger of fame was pointing at me? I entered a smoked-filled room: the walls, a dirty yellow, the furniture, handed down for many generations of students. In the center of the room, was a table with a felt cover and on it, a little cup, surrounded by little plastic chips. “A poker game?” I wondered. Of course, you know what it was. There were several people in the room, practicing and exercising—”Mens sano; corpore sano,” you know. Among them in particular, were my friends John Kernochan: soon to become Harvard’s ace shooter, and Tom Houston, a deadly squidger. They were in training for a match against Oxford. I was in the right place at the right time. This murky scene was the birth of competitive Tiddlywinks in North America. My face slightly aglow from the heat after the cold outside and my eyes stinging from the smoke—John smoked unfiltered Gaulois’; known to cause cancer in frogs; God knows what they did to him—I stepped up to the table to tiddle my first wink ever.

There is a scene in the motion picture “Thunderball” in which Sean Connery is invited by the villain to shoot skeet. Feigning inexperience, he says, “Oh dear, it looks awfully hard,” or words to that effect. Then, nonchalantly firing from the hip, he knocks down the clay pidgeon. “Oh no, it isn’t hard at all!” says Bond. So it went with me. Having all eyes turned my way, I suddenly knew I couldn’t miss, and possessed of such certainty, played it for all it was worth. Let your history state that I put in 7 shots in a row from the line—a good cabalistic number, though in truth, I think it was 4 out of 5 that I made. And that was that. The name stuck.

I must agree with your analysis that the “Carnovsky” is disadvantageous at the beginning of the game. In the case of my winking career, it was the beginning and the end. I knew I could never top such an act, so I quit. If only other athletes would have such good sense to quit while at the top of their game! Don’t you agree?

I hope this humble memoir helps you fill out the picture. Should you persist long enough in your present mad behavior to finish your compilation of winking history, it would amuse me greatly if you would send me a copy.

May none of your wishes get squidged.


Late Breaking Report

Lady Emily Lutyens (Lytton): A Blessed Girl; 1953-Lippincott, pages 97-8. In correspondence with Reverend Whitwell Elwin, at the age ol 17 in 1892:

Terling Place, April 24

I notice that whenever I expect to be happy and at my ease I am always miserable, and when I expect to die of shyness and misery I am quite happy. Last night I went to dinner with Mr. Crawley (footnote: Ernest Crawley, a well-known amateur cricketer.) and he actually talked to me about Paris and things which I understood. I shall feel grateful to him for ever after. I do not know what I said about Paris, but I talked and made long sentences when I might have said what I wanted in two words. Doll Liddell sat on my other side and he even deigned to say a few words to me. I like him, but he always nods when you are talking, and looks as if he had heard quite enough before you have begun to talk. After dinner we all played the most exciting game that ever was invented, called Tiddleywinks. It consists in flipping counters into a bowl, and being a good number we played at two tables, one table against another, and the excitement was tremendous. I assure you everyone’s character changes at Tiddleywinks in the most marvelous way. To begin with, everyone begins to scream at the top of their voices and to accuse everyone else of cheating. Even I forgot my shyness and howled with excitement. Con darted about the room snatching at counters, screaming and trembling with excitement. Lord Wolmer flicked all the counters off the table and cheated in every possible way. George Talbot was very distressed at this and conscientiously picked every counter up again. Even Gerald got feadully excited and was quite furious because someone at his table knocked over the bowl just as all the counters were in. Sidney Colvin, whom they nicknamed the Bard because he wrote a prize poem at Cambridge, also got excited and thought he played beautifully. He was at Gerald’s table and whenever a counter dropped on the floor G. turned to him and said, “Oh, now you can pick that up,” and coolly went on playing. Even he began to scream. I assure you no words can picture either the intense excitement or the noise. I almost scream in describing it.

[Note: Emily Lytton’s grandfather was Bulwer-Lytton, English novelist and dramatist]

Sit Down Idly

Squidge, meaning to shoot a wink, and squidger, the large disc used to apply pressure to (shoot) a wink, are terms possibly introduced to the game sometime before February 1955 by members of the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club (CUTwC).

The word squidge has a very clear meaning. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) states that squidge is of imitative origin, and is similar to the word squeeze. It gives a marvelous definition for squidge: “The sound made by soft mud yielding to sudden pressure.”

Nowadays, a squopped wink is one that is covered, by any amount, by another wink. On 12 March 1956 (according to Guy Consterdine in On the Mat), CUTwC introduced the verb squallop (past tense squapt) and noun squap In those days, “if both members of the team have all their winks either cupped or covered, then it shalled be said that they are squapt.”. Squapt did not then refer to the status of individual winks.

Thomas Wright (in The Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857), defined the noun squap to mean “a blow”, and the verb to mean “to sit idly”. Funk & Wagnalls (1928) defined squab as “to squeeze; beat” and “to fall plump; strike heavily, as in falling”; they relate it to the German schwapp, meaning “slap”. The OED (1933) states that squappe is an obsolete variant of “swap”, related to “whap”, “quap”, and “whop”. Squallop, the initial form used by CUTwC, suggests “wallop”, meaning “to beat soundly”. Recall that initially squapt meant what we now call squopped-out (the British say squopped-up). where one side has squopped all of the opponent winks. The words swap and swop have meanings including “to strike, deal a blow”, “to move (something) quickly or briskly, esp. so as to impinge upon something else”, “to sit down with force”, “to fall down with a flop”‘, “to pounce upon, seize”. Squaband squob are defined as “to knock or beat severely; to squash, squeeze flat”. In 1755 Samuel Johnson defined them to mean “to fall down flat”.

The sense of to squop in our game is to make a wink land on top of another in order to keep it under control.

The reasons why CUTwC introduced the terms squap and squallop to the game remain to be investigated, but one would hope that the introduction was not made without etymological reasons.

Piaget on Winks

The renowned child psychologist Jean Piaget devotes an entire chapter in The grasp of consciousness – action and concept in the young child (French 1974; English 1976) to a study of children playing tiddlywinks. Here are a few excerpts.

[pages 124-5] The research described in this chapter concerns a well-known children’s pastime, the game of tiddlywinks, where the idea is to take one counter and press it on the edge of another, to make the latter jump. Because this is extremely simple, the research centered less on cognizance of the movements actually carried out and more on conceptualization of the action in general and, above all, of its results on the object.

[page 125] The idea is to find out whether the subject observes that the counter makes a slight dent in the carpet and, if so, what conclusion he draws from it.

[page 143] But level IB sees the intervention of choices: the subjects encounter and solve the problem of where to press on the passive counter when the position of the target box [or that of the counters in relation to the box] is altered. This implies that they are beginning to relate the action to its spatial conditions. It could thus be this beginning of the spatialization of the action of pressing that explains the more acute awareness of the situation revealed by these subjects’ differentiation between the actions of pushing and pressing.

[page 144] However dependent this stage [IIA] may be on the observable features of the object and of the actual action, it nevertheless involves a beginning of coordination: the carpet is dented by the subject’s pressure on the large counter, which presses on the small one and makes the dent in the carpet, which in turn acts on the small counter. … So through which process does the subject progress to level IIB, where he tries to find out how things happen and comes to explain the phenomenon by means of the dent and the slope. … It thus seems that it is a partly inferential geometric coordination that attracts the subject’s attention to observable features that he had previously ignored.

Tiddledywink Tales

From John Kendrick Bangs’ Tiddledywink Tales, published in 1891:

“Oh, I am a Tiddledywink!
I am a Tiddledywink -It is a glorious thing, I think,
To be a Tiddledywink.”

[page 35]

No wonder he wasn’t lonesome. Who could be with thirty-six lively little Tiddledywinks and six beautiful Snappers all of different colors enjoying themselves right alongside of him?

[page 38]

“Perhaps that’s a little too deep for you Jimmieboy,” Blackey added, “but you see we Tiddledywinks have to jump as a matter of business. We jump for a living, so when we come to our sports we try to do something different.”

[page 171]

The Zen of Tiddlywinks

by Mark Childs

Now that’s a typically American thing to do, John thought having written the title, to mix up an English game and an oriental thought-process religion. John looked again at the title to his life’s work (actually a term paper for a writing class) and decided to play good old winks a bit to get the feel of the game once again.

Stretching up from his typewriter, John took the felt board from the top of his bookshelf. He opened the desk drawer and pulled out the pot and the winks (which sat in a crumpled plastic bag under his camera). Pushing aside his typewriter, he set the board up, took the shaven squidger in hand and began potting the four-coloured winks. He concentrated on squeezing the winks so that they would flip into the air on the right trajectory. Somewhere the twin thoughts of a missle launching, and of a penis descending ran through the ether. John went back to his typewriter and wondered at how blase his muse was to associate warfare and sex. He consciously thought of how to change the metaphore, and thought about a track jumper but couldn’t come up with a matching idea, and in the end he cut the thought from the text altogether. He went back to his practicing.

Squopping is what he really had to work on. “Covering the opponents’ winks” he claritied the idea to his imaginary reading audience. He concentrated on being the flying wink; he tried to put his soul into the wink itself, but never quite succeeded, and so he would often miss like any non-kramagenic person. (His muse recoiled at the use of such a word as non-kramagenic.) However, diligent as he liked to be, John continued trying to put his soul down on the table, and thereby to land on the opponents’ wink.

A wink fell off the felt mat and off the desk. Bending down to find the missing disc of red plastic he lost total drive, and thought of calling Cate to ask her out to dinner. This brought in rapid succession thoughts of how long it was until the weekend, of how much work he had to do, and of his assignment for creative writing. He switched on his muse again, who was lost in fits of poetry

And let your crystal soul
melt with laughter…

Time moves across the timeless sky
and brings a cold dawn.

but the muse had nothing concrete and so he began the assignment of writing The Zen of Tiddlywinks.

Winks, dear readers, is a game that requires more attention than that given it by small children learning delicate hand to eye coordination. Winks is a mode of thought, a total relaxation of the soul, and a yoga-like reality. The four colours of the battling winks represent the traditional four cardinal points found in early Chinese cultures.

Soon, however, thoughts of Cate came drifting into the flow of the writing, and John let free his muse to mingle in the wisps of poetry.

A knock, however, perpounded on his door shattering his reverie. John’s next door neighbor, Debbie, entered, and said “Oh Winks the essence of life. I didn’t know you played.” (Other parts of his mind seemed to be taking control of the story line because what she actually said was “What ya up to?” but I guess that’s only a technicality). John responded with a smile which he kept in the drawer for such occasions, and then spoke, “I didn’t know you knew the game, much less the score.” – “I don’t. I was just kidding.” – “Too bad, it could have been beautiful.” – “Yeah,” she answered, “I know.” At this point his muse (who was often called Ogg) objected to the lack of style the entiie wave of thought had taken on. He demanded that the story take on a more defined theme and that it get jown to brass tacks. With that John began potting some winks.

Debbie picked up a squidger and immediately attempted to imitate John, but apparently she could not get her soul into the winks and she missed the point a number of times. John looked at Debbie and thought of Cate and his wink missed the pot, but he had a thought that some part of his mind was crying with guilt at having messed so much with his readers mind. His muse was again at poetry, and this is all a typically middle-class American thing to do he thought as he typed the drifting thoughts of his poetic muse.

The prairie reddens endlessly stretching toward the rising moon.
Dew settles, cold, on the black grass about the man who stopped to rest.
And the present younger generation of middle-class Americans have gone crazy.

Incomplete Play

by Dave Lockwood


Mr. Bilton Madley – games tycoon

Superstar Sev

The Dragon

Sojax Act I

Mr. Bilton Madley offers Superstar Sev a contract for $1 million a year forever to sign up for his new tiddlywinks league but Superstar Sev says he wants more money and his own vegetable garden.

Sharp Metal Disks

From the short story “The Tiddlywink Warriors” by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson, which first appeared in the August 1955 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.—reprinted in the book Earthman’s Burden:

These Telks spat something into their homy hands and spunged them at the foe—objects which even the raging hillmen avoided. One skittered over the ramparts of Zinderneuf, and Alex got a close look at it: a small metal disk with sharp edges that glistened with some poison.

To keep squidging muscles in supple condition before a match, Cambridge tiddlywinkers twiddle their thumbs during lectures.

He buried his face in his hands. “Oh, no,” he groaned. “Oh, no, no, no. Not tiddlywinks!”

Quotes from Chairman Eggs

Sayings of Reverend Edgar Ambrose Willis:

Life takes on a new prospect when one holds a squidger in one’s hand.

The progress of Civilisation will depend in no small measure upon the spread of this most noble sport.

We look to tiddlywinks to get us back to the primeval simplicity of life, [one of The Observer’s (London) Sayings of the Year]

[The Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club,] alone of all Societies in the British Isles, stands between Civilisation and the threat of Atomic Destruction.

Tiddlywinks develops delicacy of touch; corrects color blindness; is a soothing influence on the nerves; and is conducive to restful sleep.

1958 – destined in future generations to be a date which will share with 1066 as one everybody remembersl

Tiddlywinks is an exacting pastime. It taxes every fibre of the brain and exercises every muscle of the body.

Sports Illustrated, April 7, 1958, regional page M5

Friendly games are they, where tempers are never lost, and prominent among them is tiddlywinks. May the meeting next month between the imposing opponents [Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club and the Goons, designated by Prince Philip as Royal Champions] be an epic one.

The Times [London]; December 17, 1957, page 9

Conversion of America

From The Winking World No. 3, January 1963, page 1:


When the historians of the future look back upon the year 1962, they will undoubtedly see it as a crucial year in the history of the U.S.A. Not only was it the year of the Cuban crisis, but also the year in which TIDDLYWINKS made its first serious impact on the life of the nation.

Undeniably much of the credit for the conversion of America must go to the OXFORD club. In the summer of 1962 they went on an extensive tour, and clearly aroused a great deal of interest and curiosity wherever they went. The financial assistance of GUINNESS and Co. was much appreciated in this venture.

During the months following Oxford’s tour of the U.S.A., considerable efforts have been made to launch Tiddlywinks there and these seem to be meeting with success. We are of course delighted that the game there is developing along E.Tw.A. lines and that sets and mats imported from England are being used.

Glowing in the thought that Tiddlywinks is now playing its part in our national export drive, we wish the organisers in America every success, and look forward to the possibility of International matches in the not-too-distant future.

“There is an enormous amount of physical strain on wrists and elbows and to the squidging fingers. There is terrific mental pressure and unbearable tension. The game provides excellent mental conditioning. Had the empire been built on tiddlywinks, perhaps we would never have lost it.” [Peter Freeman of Oxford University Tiddlywinks Society]

Time, September 14, 1962, page 57

Displaying digital dexterity that would evoke envious expletives from a prosperous pick pocket, Harvard University humbled Holy Cross Saturday, in the nation’s first inter collegiate tiddly winks match.

Boston Globe, October 14, 1962, page 81

NATwA … was formed on February 27, 1966.

Missing Wink; August 1974, page 5

Severin started the Cornell team in the fall of 1965, completely independently of the existing winks scene.

Missing Wink; August 1974, page 5

The team’s [Cornell’s] first equipment consisted of a free tiddlywinks set obtained from a box of Trix cereal and a scarf owned by Nowogrodzki.

Cornell Alumni Nows; July 1977, page 24

[MIT] But let’s not forget those early matches! Outdoors at Cornell with a 4 person team, winning just 1 game in a double round robin, this before the pot-out I pt. transfer rule was in effect; a match on home felt against Columbia, a team that was never seen again after that; a 3 way match with Cornell and Harvard that marked the end of the prehistoric age in North American winks since the Harvard team also disappeared after that match; and playing against Regis College (a local women’s school) whose winkers typically were tripping at matches.

Return of the Missing Wink; November 1976, page 19


Worthy of mention is the charming accessory of the game made in Victorian times: The Tiddlywinks Tower. This was a miniature bell tower made from either tin plate or wood. The object was to flick the tiddlywink into one of the window openings and so ring the bell.

— Brian Jewell in Sports and games: history and origins; 1977, pages 108-9.

Back in 1903 “Battle Winks” was a popular game and there may have been some doubt in the beholder’s mind as to which the game was—as represented in the illustration, or the process of unwinding the mazed lettering; this may have lent a certain spoiling aspect, combining the puzzle principle with the more physical excitement of tiddlywinks.

— Ruth and Larry Freeman citing Wentworth Weeks in Cavalcade of toys; 1942, page 366

Remember Tiddledy Winks? How exciting it was to get out the green felt cloth, put the little cup in the center, and pick out which color counter you would play with! It’s centuries old. The Chinese played it with beautifully carved counters and cups of ivory or gold, and it was a very thoughtful game of skill.

— Virginia Musselman in Home play in wartime; 1942, page 7

The smart set of Des Moines … often amuse themselves with a parlor game: a modern variation of famed tiddle-dy-winks. An ashtray is placed on the floor. The players (any number from two to eight), equipped with dimes and quarters, squat. In turn, they use their quarters to try to flick their dimes into the ashtray in a graceful arc. It is a game requiring firm thumbs, keen eyes. It was invented by that skillful player, John Cowles, 29, who is to Des Moines what a dynamo is to a powerhouse.

Young Mr. Cowles and his father, Gardner Cowles, have a monopoly of the newspaper business in Des Moines.

— in Time, May 14, 1928, page 26

… or the inexplicably more evocative names like snakes and-ladders, shuttlecock or tiddlywinks, which contain a linguistic ethos all their own, and which, like the things children say to their toys, are quite untranslatable.

— Leslie H. Daiken in Children’s toys throughout the ages; 1953, page 185

The contriving of such mischief is irresistible. Some years ago I wrote a scholarly essay upon “The Contributions of Tiddly-Winks to Contemporary American Speech.” The piece was taken with such great seriousness that years later I was sought out by the editor of a prospective encyclopedia of games, asking reprint permission…”

— James J. Kilpatrick, syndicated columnist, in The Washington Star; 3 January 1979, page A11

“But I don’t believe the Olympic Games should be made smaller. That would negate the whole idea of what they are all about. If anything they should be enlarged. I don’t see why they shouldn’t include tiddlywinks. It’s a very good game.” – Prince Philip, talking about the Olympics with Ian Wooldridge.

“At the risk of propagating royal support for tiddlywinks, a game of the utmost tedium played by anti-athletes loo tired or apathetic to get up off the floor, I have to concede that his argument makes sense.”—Ian Wooldridge, in an interview with Prince Philip.

Return of the Missing Wink; November 1976, pages 9,5

Being squopped is the tiddlywinks equivalent of drawing a go-to-jail card in Monopoly.

Harvard Crimson; 28 February 1966, page 1

“It takes about two months just to understand the rules,” Lockwood says.

People; 27 November 1978, page 138

Wobbly has been to more tiddlywinks tournaments than any other four-legged creature.

Harvard Magazine; May-June 1979, page 37

Tiddlywinks, although not a sport, is M.I.T.’s top game.

— New York Times; 8 April 1973, page 2S

In days gone by golf was occasionally played in the old Zoo. The classic hole of this classic course was a par 15, 80 foot hole with a course record of 11. The hole started with a dogleg right, another dogleg right, went down two flights of stairs, a dogleg left through an open door, and ended with a dogleg left to an elevated green on a coffee table. Random trash cans and other obstacles lined the fairway and protected the green (gray).

— *, in Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents; February 1976, page 38

Lee Cousins, in kilt, came a very close second and drove all the women crazy with his sporran full of squidgers.

— Newswink 2; April 1970, page 7

In a game recently, I exploded a very large pile which resulted in all twelve of our opponents’ winks squopping each other, and leaving all 12 of our winks free. Since our opponents were squopped out we received 12 free turns. But how can we free them if we are not squopping them? Must we waste a free turn squopping them so we can free them or do we just move one of their winks aside after the turns are over or what?

— Newswink 5; February 1972, page 11

Fiat vincs, ruat caelum

[Let winks be played, though the heavens crumble]

— NATwA motto

“Oh, we always have pumpkin bread at tournaments, it’s the official food of NATwA”, was the answer I received from a wide-eyed lass whose all-too-active bosom was causing some winkers to miss their shots.

— The Missing Wink; February 1975, page 6

“The highlight of my winx career was hearing the California Men’s Octet singing those songs.”—Scott commenting on the use of the NATwA songbook at a West Coast winx match last April.

— Return of the Missing Wink; November 1976, page 13

Winker’s Lament (Tune: Red River Valley)

O we lost when we played green and yellow
And we lost when we played red and blue
All your long shots just rolled off the table
And my short squops just landed on you.

O our first game we lost seven-zero
In the third round we still were ahead
I just wanted to piddle our pile
But I potted their last wink instead.

When the schedules for each round were posted,
Our opponents would all shout with glee
We forgot all the flips in Perquackey
Going home we ran into a tree.

Still our ghosts can be seen at each tourney
For as winkers we live and we die
Yes we’re missing our shots now forever
In the great winks match up in the sky.

— NATwA Songbook; February 1976, page 8

Like the sound of a thousand tolling bells at dawn, the clatter of counters in faraway pots swells to a climactic din that heralds the beginning of another Winking season. A gleaming squidger rises slowly in the sky. Sunshine is everywhere.

— Newswink 5; February 1972, page 1; reprinted in the Shell Weekend Guide to London and the South East, edited by Robert Nicholson; 1979

The passion began with the GWW’s announcement that he would pot. … For a moment, many would later recall, the White One’s energy seemed audible. They heard its hum and they felt it infusing the very air. Then he was in that air, turning end over end, sparkling, catching the sunlight… and he was gone.

— Fred Shapiro, in The Great White Wink, in Fleas, November 1978

The National Library of Canada has demanded copies of each issue of NEWSWINK per the National Library Acts of 1952 and 1969.

— Newswink 4; April 1971, page 10

There are at least two known journals devoted to the game: the British Winking World and America’s Newswink.

— Paul Dickson, The mature person’s guide to kites, yo-yos, frisbees and other childlike diversions; 1977, page 159

Through the Ages


      Team                Pair                  Singles
67    Cornel1/Waterloo     X                     X
68    MIT/Toronto          X                     X
69    MIT/Cornel1          X                     X
70    Somervi11e/Cornell  Bob-Ferd/Rosie-Andy    X
71    Somervi11e/MIT      Bob-Ferd/Phi1-Sev      X
72    MIT/Cornell         Sev-Andy/Ross-Craig   Bob/Sev
73    Zoo/MIT             Bi11-Ross/Bob-Betsy   Bill/Ross
74    Hyth/Zoo            Bill-Ross/*-Sev       Sev/Ross
75    Zoo/Somerville      Sev-Oave L/Ferd-Don   Sev/Ferd
76    Zoo/MIT             Sev-Larry/TDI-DaveL   */DaveL
77    Renaissance/Zoo     Sev-Larry/*-Ferd      DaveL/Bob
78    Renaissance/MIT     Sev-Larry/Bob-Mary    DaveL/Bob
79    Renaissance/Relix   Sev-Joe/*-Bob         Sev/Joe

Triple Crown in 1973 & 1979
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NATwA Address List, 9 February 1980

The address list section of this publication is not available online.