North American Tiddlywinks Association

NATwA founded • 27 February 1966

  • Publication name • Newswink
  • Whole number • 21
  • Publisher • North American Tiddlywinks Association
  • Publication date • 1 July 1988
  • Publication location • Falls Church, Virginia USA
  • Page side count • 10 including 1 page for the NATwA Address List
  • Editor • Rick Tucker
  • Preparation • Microsoft Word version 3 for Apple Macintosh
  • Production • Printed in black and white on 8½” by 11″ white paper
  • NATwA Archives artifacts: Original Microsoft Word files; original photoduplicated printed pages; digitized images of original printed pages
  • 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 list of people mentioned
  • (2022-08-17) Add abbreviations used 


10-11 September
NATwA Pairs

24-25 September
NATwA Singles
Washington DC

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Newswink 22

An official publication of the North American Tiddlywinks Association
Rick Tucker, editor
Falls Church, Virginia
1 July 1988

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Each player uses one Tiddledy and six Winks, of corresponding color; and provides buttons or slips of paper to serve as counters. The Wink-cup is placed in the centre of the table, and must not be removed from its position during a game. First play may be decided by lot, then play in turn to the left. Each player contributes six counters to form a pool. Select a pool-keeper, who will take charge of the pool and make all payments therefrom. Jump the Winks into the Wink-cup in the following manner: Place the Wink on the table, hold the Tiddledy between the thumb and fingers, or place it flat upon the top of the Wink, press down and draw it back over the Wink, causing the latter to jump forward and up into the cup. (A table covered with cloth will produce the best results.) Each player must jump his Winks from the same distance from the Cup; twelve to eighteen inches being the general rule. For each Wink landed in the Wink-cup a player is entitled to one counter from the pool. A player continues his turn until he fails to land a Wink into the Cup, even should he exhaust the pool. If the pool is not exhausted when each player has jumped his six Winks, another round or inning must be begun. A pool being exhausted before an inning is finished, another must be formed, the play continuing in same manner notwithstanding. Six Winks each constitute a round or inning. A player must not touch the Winks which he has failed to put into the Cup until an inning is completed. The player securing the greatest number of counters wins the game. When one pool is exhausted another may be formed, or if the players elect, more than three counters may be paid in at a time, or two paid out for each Wink landed in the cup. If a player fails to jump either of his Winks into the Cup in one round, he must pay a forfeit of one counter to the pool. Four Winks landed in the Wink-cup successively, entitles the player to one counter in addition to the four already obtained, five successive Winks to two additional counters, and six to three additional counters.

The Editor’s View or, Meanderings of a Neanderthal

by Rick Tucker


If there is excitement in the air, it is due to the third British winks invasion of America, planned for September of this year. Third, you say? The first invasion was in the 1890s, soon after tiddledy-winks (as it was spelled then) was invented by Fincher in England. See the article in this Newswink about the centennial of tiddlywinks. The second invasion was in 1962 when four Oxford winkers (including a woman, as many U.S. newspapers trumpeted) toured North America for over a month in search of competent winkers. They didn’t find any. But some Harvard students, after a defeat to Oxford, saw the publicity attendant to challenging unsuspecting colleges to tiddlywinks matches, and they won left and right. Thus was born winks in America. Now the third invasion. This time the marauders are from the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club (CUTwC— pronounced cut’-wik), the oldest tiddlywinks club (one third of a century) and the founders of modern (post-1890s) tiddlywinks play. American winks desperately needs a shot in the arm; in fact it is very likely that Americans will be outnumbered in every match with the British this fall. In addition to CUTwC members, two other Brits are expected to join in this historic tour. I recall the excitement that accompanied the American tour of England in 1985. Winks in England is thriving. There is no better word for it. We in America are overjoyed that England has recovered from its slump in winking activity of the late 1970s. At the same time that England was in a slump, American winks was much more healthy than it is today. But American winks is not dead. The centers of winking today are in the Washington, DC, area and in Ohio. What has happened to Boston (MIT, etc.), Ithaca (Cornell and Ithaca High School), Philadelphia, etc.? Well, now and then I hear of winking at Ithaca High School. Sunshine does play in individual pairs tournaments but not in national singles or pairs. MIT, the major source of American winkers, has been dormant for about 7 years. Once in a blue moon Boston-area winkers will leave the security of their everyday jobs for the espièglerie of a winks tournament. If anything, we look to the British tour with the hope that it may spark renewed interest in the game, both from idle winkers and from new winkers.


In a related vein, the British are starting to feel that their dominance in sheer numbers is argument enough to flex their muscles. From Winking World 50, page 29:
Jon raised the question of the eligibility of the [World Singles] challenge of an American ’’Champion’’ following the recent very low turnouts in competitions and abandonment of the 1986 Singles. … It was asked whether to permit a challenge in these circumstances would devalue the title when all the game’s current strength was in the UK. … [Jon] recognised that ETwA would have to be careful if it was to try to impose conditions.
Telling NATwA what NATwA should do won’t help NATwA a whit. NATwA is an endangered species. Don’t just leave us for dead. In any case, I’m not sure where it is cast in stone that a World Singles champion can be challenged only by a national singles winner. That is simply past agreement between NATwA and ETwA through IFTwA. Would anyone argue that tiddlywinks is an unchanging game? That the rules and conventions are immutable? Of course not. ETwA introduced major revisions to the rules in 1987, authored by Charles Relle. We must change from time to time to hone the game to be the best that it can be. Sometimes we must take a stance which may be needed to help the game endure. I’m sure ETwA does not wish to build a wall between itself and NATwA. We need England more than they need us. At least for now.


Speaking of rules revision, this Newswink contains an article by Charles Relle entitled Regulae Universae, meaning, of course, “Universal Rules”. Charles’ efforts in the regulation arena are well known and I applaud his goal to bring ETwA and NATwA together in agreement on a common set of rules. As Charles points out, NATwA has been negligent in publishing an approved set of rules. I propose that NATwA adopt the ETwA rules with separate amendments to codify NATwA practice where it is different from ETwA’s. Newswink 21 included a copy of the ETwA rules; one mistake noted by Winking World 50 is that small winks should be given as 15mm rather than 16mm. If you would like a copy of these rules with a larger type-font, please send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Newswink Editor Rick Tucker 5505 Seminary Road # 1206 N Falls Church, Virginia 22041 USA Home: 703-671-7098 Work: 703-883-6699 Internet: [email protected] NATwA Secretary-General Larry Kahn 10416 Haywood Drive Silver Spring, Maryland 20902 USA Home: 301-681-9345 Work: 301-670-2367

An Eye on the Isles

Via Winking World 50, October 1987 The semicentennial issue of Winking World appeared 26 years after its first. While not as hefty as its 70-page predecessor, WW 50 portrays a strong ETwA. There is a good article by Stew Sage on the history of winks from a Cambridge University perspective, complementing Guy Consterdine’ s On the Mat (1967) and Winks Rampant (1972). The article ends with the following paragraph:
The rather gloomy period of the late seventies and early eighties now appears to be over. Competition entries are rising and new areas of interest, notably Oxford and Pinner, are appearing. Much of the expansion reflects developments in Cambridge, where positive changes in image and approach were undertaken during 1982-4. Improved recruitment, the creation of much more internal competition and an unashamed promotion of the social aspects of the club have seen active membership rising rapidly.
From Charles Relle’s article, “Off the Mat Again”:
Skill in Tiddlywinks has two aspects, appreciation (summing up how likely a shot is to succeed, and the consequences of success or failure), and manual dexterity (putting the wink where you want it to go). … Mistakes come from two sources: carelessness or even recklessness, and mismanagement. … Luck has not yet come into the discussion, so follow the failed wink. It might land safe among friendly winks, safe by itself, some distance away but still safe, fairly near enemy winks, among enemy winks, or off the mat.

Enduring Inventions

by Rick Tucker
  • George Eastman introduces the Kodak camera.
  • J. B. Dunlop invents the pneumatic tire.
  • Joseph Assheton Fincher patents a new and improved game in England, tiddledy-winks.
Like the other inventions listed above, tiddlywinks made its debut one hundred years ago this year. It arrived in England when Jack the Ripper was stalking London. Fincher was located first on Oxford Street in London, and later on Berners Street a block or so away, in the midst of what is modern London’s major shopping district. On 8 November 1888, Fincher presented a provisional specification describing his invention in a single sentence:
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.
Fincher’s complete specification of the invention was filed nine months later. In the meantime, he had applied for a trademark for the name TIDDLEDY-WINKS on 29 January 1889. The application was published as trademark 85,800 in the 15 May 1889 issue of the Trade Marks Journal, where Fincher’s occupation was given as “gentleman”. TIDDLEDY-WINKS became a registered trademark during the week of 6-12 March 1890. On 8 August 1889, the complete specification of the patent was left. The statement of the invention is still short, as follows:
A new and improved game played with counters or flippers made of wood, ivory, bonn [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 the 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, I 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, and counters, and flippers made of wood, ivory, bone, 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 or 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.
The first claim essentially ties together the various pieces of equipment as a patentable combination. The second claim is the key aspect: it defines the act of potting a wink, i.e., shooting a wink into a pot. The third claim is also key, since it defines the piece of equipment used for shooting the winks, which is called a squidger in modern winks. Potting and the presence of a squidger are the principal characteristics used by modern tiddlywinks researchers to identify whether a game can be considered to be a tiddlywinks game. The idea of squopping is missing from the patent, but is almost as old. Covering an opponent’s wink is mentioned in rules as early as 1890, though often it is considered be an accident. From an 1890 set of rules from McLoughlin Brothers, a premier American game company which was bought out by Milton Bradley after 1900:
A player may not touch another’s Wink, and if one lies on his and he has no other to jump, he must wait until the opponent removes the Wink before he can play. Another’s Wink must not be purposely covered.
Fincher’s patent was accepted on 19 October 1889, nearly a year after the initial application was filed. An antique set from this period is known with the inscription, “Joseph Fincher—Inventor”. The simplicity of Fincher’s patent claims would lead one to believe that once tiddlywinks (or to be precise, tiddledy-winks) was patented, no one else would be able to patent tiddlywinks-like games. On the contrary; there have been over 70 patents issued in England, the United States, and elsewhere for tiddlywinks games. Note that Fincher’s patent covers bowl or vessels of any shape acting as a pot, but not rings, holes, or flat targets. Patents often are issued for “improvements” to the original invention. It didn’t take long for an improvement: George Scott of Oxton, Birkenhead, the County of Chester, England applied for a patent on 6 June 1889—before Fincher’s complete specification had been filed. Following are excerpts from Scott’s British patent, summarizing his innovations:
This invention has for its object a new parlour game based upon the well known game of golf. The apparatus consists, 1st. of a course or links formed of felt or other elastic material … 2nd. a series of hazards … 3rd. in a series of springers or clubs. These have a large variety of ends for different uses, they can be made of wood, bone, or ivory, for the most part, but whether bone or ivory discs are used, one or two of the springers are of metal, preferably steel, as it is found that the use of polished metal is necessary to enable the discs to fly backwards and thus get out from under a hazard. … 4th. In place of balls, I use discs or counters. … They can be of various shapes and sizes. The size and shape which I prefer, however, is 3/4 inch in diameter and about 3/64 inch in thickness. Of this 3/64 inch, 1/64 in the centre of the edge is vertical, but on each side it is bevelled off to about 1/32 inch from the circumference.
Scott’s patent was approved 22 March 1890. It was also patented in the United States—the first U.S. tiddlywinks patent—on 15 July 1890. A flurry of tiddlywinks patents followed, mostly simulating sports or specifying unique targets or innovative pieces (such as winks with different colors on each side and square winks). There is little doubt that Fincher is the inventor of the game that continues to be popular one hundred years later. However, little is known about the man. Undoubtedly the invention of tiddlywinks was Fincher’s greatest mark on the world. While tiddlywinks because [⨳ sic, should be: became ⨳] fabulously successful as the [⨳ sic, the should be omitted ⨳] one  of the greatest crazes of the 1890s, the trademark and the patent quickly fell into the public domain. It is doubtful that Fincher made a great deal of money from his invention, considering the fierce competition in England and abroad. Fincher tried his hand at other inventions. In 1890, he successfully patented an improvement in sleeve links (cufflinks). In February 1890 his address was given as Lampard Brook, Framlingham, Suffolk. In 1897 he attempted to patent some variety of candlesticks, but he abandoned the attempt.

World Singles Quiz

by Dave Lockwood
  1. Which World Singles participant has played against the greatest number of different individuals? How many?
  2. Which World Singles participant with at least 3 matches has played against a different opponent in each?
  3. Who has lost the greatest number of World Singles and to whom did he lose them?
  4. Who is the only player to have regained the World Singles title?
  5. Who is the only player to have won the World Singles and currently have a losing match record? (Hint: There will be another after World Singles 28.)
  6. How many different individuals have played in the first 27 World Singles?
  7. Who was the last “new” player in the World Singles?
  8. What is the average number of matches played per participant?
  9. Whose reign as World Singles champion was the shortest? How long was it?
  10. Which participant has scored the fewest points in their career World Singles play?
{insert link to answers}

Individual Pairs V

by Sunshine Individual Pairs V was held in Silver Spring, Maryland on 26 March 1988—nearly 1 1/2 years after IP (IV). For only the second time the preferred number of winkers—8—took part. Five time veterans Larry, Bob, Rick, and Sunshine were joined by 4th-timers Brad and Jim (who was almost on time) and ’rookies’ Ferd and Mac. With winking scheduled for Saturday and tennis for Sunday, and TV, food and cards for whenever, the weather miraculously cooperated other than for the fog that delayed Ferd’s departure from Boston. Mac’s broccoli arrived safely from Ohio. With Larry starting off slowly, Bob and Rick battled for the early lead. In round 3, had Mac and Jim bested Rick and Bob by 6-1, then all eight players would have had 10 or 11 points (but they didn’t). The left side of the score-board won 10 of the first 12 games to take a very insurmountable and meaningless lead. Entering the last round Rick was holding onto a 1/2 point lead over Larry with Bob still vaguely in contention. A Rick blitz managed to confuse Larry and Ferd (they temporarily switched colors) but not enough to be successful. The eventual 7 (Ferd’s first in many years) gave Larry his 5th straight title and landed Ferd in 2nd, earning him Rookie of the Match honors. Other match highlights included Sunshine setting a record with 9 1/2 points in losses and Duke beating Temple and Rick’s camera. All evidence of anchovy pizza was gone before the match started. In other action on the weekend Bob dominated tennis play in winning all 4 sets of doubles, Ferd took a commanding early lead to win the Oh Hell contest, and after a long late night tussle, Jim and an Ohioan emerged with a victory in possibly the first 5-way pot-squop of the 80’s (played no less with mushroom white and burple). On Friday eve the gang experimented with a new way of dealing with 5 players. It was 3 against 2 but not with a Persimmon. One player would sit out until either 5 minutes of playing time had expired or one of their two partners made a bad shot (to enter the penalty box). After 5 IPs, Larry is only 30-5 with an incalculable ppg, barely ahead of Sunshine who is second with 18-17 and a 3.61. The only undefeated pairs are Bob & Larry (5-0, 5.8 ppg) and Brad & Larry (4-0, 5.25). The top non-Larry pairs are Jim & Sunshine (3-1, 4.56) and Rick & Bob (3-2, 4.30).
              W-L  Points  Oh Hell  Tennis
Larry Kahn    6-1  35         X    2-1-6-6
Ferd Bull     4-3  29 1/2    180   6-6-2-1
Rick Tucker   4-3  28 1/2     X       X
Bob Henninge  4-3  27        157   6-6-6-6
Brad Schaefer 4-3  23         X       X
*             2-5  20 1/2    149   2-1-2-4
Mac McAvoy    2-5  17 1/2    141   6-6-2-4
Jim Marlin    2-5  15 1      143      X


by Charles Relle The pretentious title of this article is justified by the hope that it will bring Etwa and Natwa rules closer together. It takes as its basis for discussion Rick Tucker’s article Rules Britannia vs. Rules Americana in Newswink 21. This is a very useful article, as by pointing up differences of opinion it advances the search towards better and clearer rules. Rule 3: Etwa and Natwa practices differ: there is nothing we can do about this. Both positions can be argued for, and it would be best to agree. In favour of the Etwa position is the fact that under it the boundary is always clearly defined, whereas under Natwa’s position the playability of the wink depends on the stiffness of the mat. Rule 5a: In England the final resting place of the winks determines the squidge-off winner. This needs to be written into the rules. Rule 5b: Again a difference with no particular logic to support either position; one side ought to come into line. Rule 5c: What happens if a wink bouncing out of the pot affects a pile? This is difficult, but my view is that if a wink bounces in and out of the pot on the same turn, and then hits a pile, changes to the pile stand. If, however, another wink is bounced out of the pot, changes are reversed. Why? Because potted winks are ’’dead”, and take no further part in the game. Etwa has recently agreed that winks moved by the pot are put back (see rule 7b), and the case of potted winks is similar. Rule 7a: ”If in any turn…” I could justify this phrase by saying that it emphasises the fact that the rule (unlike the squop rule) applies both before and after a pot-out. For a general discussion of the evolution of this and other rules, see my article in Newswink 13. Rule 8: Etwa adopted the millimetre rule in the belief that it was Natwa practice! In any case all winks are now nominally 1.5 mm thick. This will be in our next update of the rules, though the millimetre rule will stay. Rule 9 a and c: We do need an anti-time-wasting rule, and the 2 minute rule. Even in England it is quite hard to get people to adhere to and accept the 2 minute rule. It needs to be announced beforehand that the 2 minute rule is to be applied in a given tournament. It is very important, incidentally, to play quickly, either by rule or by agreement, in any tournament in which novices are involved. They are put off by having to wait about, and the game, on both sides of the Atlantic, needs new players. Rule 10a: The position adopted by Rick Tucker in ’’Unexplored Frontiers” (Newswink 14, page 6) was discussed and I think refuted by me in a note on that article published in Newswink 15, page 4. As far as I know nothing further has been written on the subject, except a lighthearted article by me in Winking World 40. I would be very interested to know which of the two positions Natwa players in general accept and why. I still think I have logic on my side. Rule 11a: This rule can give rise to many complications, especially when free turns occur in rounds or a player having free turns sends a wink off the mat or both. The wording has been evolved to cover as many cases as possible, but may still not be perfect. Discussion of this point has been carried on by myself, WW 45, p21, Geoff Thorpe, WW 46, p14, Larry Kahn, WW 47, p31, and myself again, WW 48, p22. I hope to publish an article in WW 51 on this subject. Students of the game may obtain back numbers of Winking World from Nick Inglis, Churchill College, Cambridge, England. The adoption of the U.S. ’’peripheral rule” would make some situations easier. I believe it is sufficiently clear from the wording of Rule 11a that free turns cease when an opponent wink is desquopped, but it would be easy to alter it if necessary. I admit that there could be doubt. To free by the required time is obligatory: to play otherwise deliberately is wrong; to do so repeatedly is cheating and should be punished under 12d (forfeiture of game 0-7) . There has been discussion of this point in Etwa; the feeling is that since to free is obligatory, a deliberate attempt to free must be made, and made on the first shot of the freeing turn. This is because the ability to play the freeing shot should not be contingent on the success of some other shot. Rule 11d: When we formulated this rule, we were trying to conform to the Natwa rule! However the rule we have is easy to word and apply, and I suggest we stick to it on both sides of the Atlantic. This article is long and, to keep it from being longer, rather dogmatic and abundant in references to other articles, some of which are my own works. Here are a few final observations. It is good that there is so large a measure of agreement between Natwa and Etwa. In Etwa we have given more thought to the rules, because we are playing more games per year than Natwa, and thus have to consider unclear or unusual situations more often. Also, since Winking World appears twice a year, discussion in it goes on twice as rapidly as can happen in Newswink. Natwa seems curiously untroubled by not having an agreed written body of rules; Etwa on the other hands looks towards a time when the rules will be finally formulated, and meanwhile conforms to the most recent edition. Etwa also feels that it is a good thing to be able to say in definite terms to new players and the media, “These are the rules”. Tiddlywinks is still a young game, perhaps the youngest serious game, and it is not surprising if it has not entirely settled down, and if legislation has not been evolved to cover all situations.

A Fork in the Decision Tree

by Dave Lockwood World Singles 28 pits Jonathan Mapley against Larry Kahn. Is this the most important match in the history of the game? Probably not, but it may be in the top 20 and it may be the most important match ever for Jon and Larry. Larry has been the dominant player in national singles play on both sides of the Atlantic since 1984 while Jon is establishing a formidable record as the reigning World Singles Champion. Who will win the title of World’s Best Winker? Consider the preface. Jon is 4-4 in World Singles matches, Larry 6-6. They are 2-2 head-to-head. Larry won the first two meetings with Jon; Jon has won the last two. The last match of the four was a five game, 25-10 whitewash of Larry, his worst ever result, tying the fourth worst in history. (And remember this is the same Larry who executed the only four game win.) Jon is on a four match winning streak, having lost his first four (two to me and two to Larry). Larry is on a two match losing streak, his record sinking from a fine 5-2 with two losses to Arye Gittelman and the two to Jon (the crushing win against Alan Dean was sandwiched between them). This match will answer several questions. Can Jon beat Larry again and establish a winning career match win-loss record for the first time as well as going ahead 3-2 in his head-to-head matches with Larry? Can Jon win his fifth in a row tying Larry for the second longest winning streak? Can Larry stop the rot and regain the World Singles title for an unprecedented third time, à la Muhammad Ali? Larry’s challenge is currently the only outstanding match to be played so neither player can assume a rematch. In the broader sense, Britain is going from strength to strength while America is in a severe trough. Will this be the beginning of British dominance on the mat to go with their total dominance in numbers of players, matches; organization, enthusiasm, and hope? … Well, perhaps there is still some hope on this side of the Atlantic. Certainly, the three months from September through November will tell us whether we’re on the America-dominating, British-dominating, or neither-dominating branch of the match play decision tree. In that period, a national Pairs, two national Singles, at least one World Singles (as many as five are theoretically possible), and some team matches of Cambridge, et al. vs. U.S. will be played. Jon will lead the largest British winking contingent ever—perhaps as many as 10—to America in September to play in the 16th NATwA Singles as well as the World Singles. It’s likely the British will outnumber Americans in the Singles. In World Singles, though, it comes down to the individuals. Not Britain or America, but Jon or Larry. Gentlemen, I close with one brief statement of fact and philosophy. You write your own record. Good luck to both of you, The Dragon

World Singles 26

by Larry Kahn Churchill College Cambridge University, England 23 November 1987 This was the fourth meeting between Larry Kahn and Jon Mapley, Larry having won the first two but Jon winning last year. The match was well-played on both sides, and Jon’s 25-10 win was not really indicative of the closeness of some of the games. There was no real turning point in the match except possibly for a failed Larry potout in game 4. Game 1: Similar to last year’s start, Jon pots a big red from the line. The game soon develops into a massive squopping battle in one localized area. Some of Larry’s aggressive shots are just off by millimeters and this swings the game to Jon. Toward the end, Larry makes a great 3 foot bomb with a small wink but it comes too late and Jon takes 6. Game 2: Early position goes to Jon but Larry attacks well and when the pile is blown he has more winks in the area and takes control. Lots of good attacking and defending shots by both players. Larry looks like 6 ending round 3 but in 4 Jon comes in, bombs edge of pile, and has a little green on a big green. 6 points may take first. Red (yellow ends) must squop a yellow which had gotten on the pile on its previous shot. Blue pots its one free wink for 6. Green now pots the bottom but can’t make the next pot since it had landed fairly far away. Larry now has 5 1/2 and has 2 possibilities for 6. The first would require a very delicate piddle that probably would leave the score unchanged. The other option is to boondock a yellow and hope it can’t squop either a red or blue. Larry does this (as Jon says he would have also) but the freed yellow somehow kicks another yellow free on its way out. Jon now pots both (one from 9-10 inches) to salvage a 3. Game 3: A fairly even game until Larry has a couple of unlucky subs. In trying to recover he makes several shots that could have turned out well but it seems the shot wink always ends up marginally squopping some of his other winks. Jon more or less sits back and makes some good defensive shots for 6. Game 4: Red is in trouble early, so Larry tries a blue potout, all reasonably close, but two on other winks. He makes the free 4 but misses the 5th. Jon gets both, but a Larry launching pad shot amazingly frees both blues. Jon, somewhat shaken, barely squops one of them. Larry puts in the 5th and tries to hold on but about 15 minutes are left. He does well but Jon finally pots out as rounds begin to get 6 and lead 21-7. Game 5: Larry needs 6’s to prevent having to get a 7. This game starts well for him and he has reasonable control. A Jon pile blow near the end of the game leaves him with 4 free reds and almost a guaranteed 2. Larry decides to go for 6 instead of 5 and after trying some rather difficult shots to get it Jon ends up winning a 4-3 with his reds. A good match, the many spectators (mostly Cambridge winkers) were obviously impressed with the play. Next up—Jon defends against Charles Relle with the winner taking on Larry. World Singles 27, February 1988, England
Jon Mapley     5 2 6 4½ 6 3 = 26½
Charles Relle  2 5 1 2½ 1 4 = 15½
The second all Brit World Singles. The second World Singles for Charles Relle. Fourth in a row for Jon Mapley.

Media Meanderings

by Rick Tucker In May 1988, an Australian TV crew recorded four Americans attempting to beat a Guinness Book of World Records’ tiddlywinks 4-pot relay record. The record-breaking effort was filmed for a new show called Just for the Record which will premiere in July. The Americans, Larry Kahn, Dave Lockwood, Jim Marlin, and Rick Tucker, managed to get 39 winks through 4 pots in 3 minutes, starting each wink 18 inches from each pot. The previous record, reported by the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club in England, was 35, according to Stew Sage, writing from his Florida villa. However, a review of early Winking Worlds brings to light different rules for the 4-pot relay, namely starting from 15 inches instead of 18. A clarification of the rules with CUTwC is in order, it would seem. In any case, Winking World 50 on page 1 indicates that Duncan Budd, Tim Hedger, Nick Inglis, and Alex Satchell eked out 35, breaking the previous record of 28. Hey guys, we’ve hit 39 more than once in the space of a week! A representative of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in Detroit consulted NATwA for a project involving the 150th anniversary of the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It seems that Grand Rapids is the home of Drueke Games company, and tiddlywinks sets made by Drueke would be mailed to a number of individuals, intending to represent a game that Grand Rapids residents might have played in 1838. The catch is that tiddlywinks is only 100 years old in 1988, 50 years younger than Grand Rapids. It remains to be seen how J. Walter Thompson has decided to handle the tie-in, but they should be commended for consulting NATwA to assure accuracy in advertising. A reporter and photographer from the Baltimore Sun covered winks for their Sunday magazine section in early July. They’ll undoubtedly report on Rick Tucker’s Virginia license plate, “GROMP”, and Larry Kahn’s answering machine message. None other than Pee Wee Herman, he of adventures big and small, is the latest public figure to thumb his nose at tiddlywinks. In June on his Saturday morning show, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Pee Wee declared that tiddlywinks was beneath him.

1987 ETwA Singles

by Larry Kahn The 1987 ETwA Singles turned out to be one of the most competitive tournaments ever. It also showed the primary difference between NATwA and ETwA. In NATwA we have trouble getting enough people to the tournament, while in ETwA they have trouble getting enough mats. The tournament was held at Pinner Community Center, courtesy of Tim Jeffreys. It’s an excellent location, with good lighting and full-sized tables. On Saturday morning it was apparent that not enough mats had been brought so Jon and Tony had to make an emergency run to Oxford to get more. Unfortunately, Tony decided to stay at Oxford due to the late start. The format ended up with 42 people in 5 divisions, top 2 from each division make it plus the two 3rd place finishers with the highest ppg. Top division seeds Jon Mapley, Larry Kahn, Alan Dean, Mike Surridge, and Charles Relle all easily made it, although not all won their divisions. There were some major upsets as several lower seeds made it in. Perhaps the most surprising was Patrick Barrie going undefeated in the Red division and qualifying as first seed in the finals. Stew Sage snuck in by being third in this division while 2nd seed Peter Wright failed to make it. In Yellow, Geoff Thorpe finished second at the expense of Alan Boyce. In Brown, Keith Seaman finished 2nd and also gave Larry his first ever loss in the preliminaries. In Green, 5th seed Richard Moore won a tight battle for 2nd over Tim Hedger and Andy Purvis. In Blue, 4th seed finished first, ahead of Alan, while Jim Carrington made it as a 3rd. All in all, 4 Cambridge players made the finals, as did all 5 of the previous winners (Larry, Jon, Alan, Keith, and Charles). The finals started off in typical fashion, with Larry in the lead by one after two rounds. He then fell on hard times, getting one off Mike, and 4’s off Keith and Jim, both of which could have been 1’s, as he was down to one or two winks in both these games. Meanwhile, everyone was beating up on everyone else so that by the end of round 5, Charles was in the lead with a paltry 22 1/2 points, this due to the biggest upset of the tournament in round 4 when Stew gave him a zero. Round 6 went pretty much to form as the top half continued to win. At this point in the match, Charles led with 28 1/2 but there were 5 other players within 5 points of him. Rounds 7 and 8 were the critical rounds as both Charles and Larry opened up distance on the rest of the field by getting 11 and 12 respectively. Meanwhile, Jon went into a tailspin, getting 2 and 1, effectively killing his chances. Alan got 5 but then a 1 off Larry hurt big. Geoff Myers reached the end of his string by getting his third straight 1. Meanwhile, unknown Patrick was holding on to a slim hope with a 6 and a 4 2/3, the 6 coming in a blitz-blitz game against Jon. He was now 7 1/3 back but still had both leaders to play. Round 9 was the key matchup, Larry against Charles, with Charles up by 1/2. Each had one game left against Patrick, Larry also had Jon while Charles had Alan so the schedule appeared even. The winner of this game would have a big edge. The game started even but Larry gradually pulled away and was reasonably up at rounds. Charles played well in rounds to get some greens free, and with very few free winks might have a chance. There were some good shots played by both sides in round 4 and 5 and when it was all over, Larry had his first ever 4 2/3 after 879 worldwide tournament games. This left him with a 1 5/6 point lead. In round 10, Larry got the expected 6 off Patrick, but Alan played well and got 4 1/2 to leave Charles in a desperate situation. The last round had some bizarre possibilities. Larry, 5 1/3 up, needed a 2 to clinch, a 1 if Charles doesn’t get 7. Charles needs 7 to have any realistic chance of winning, but only needs 1 to guarantee being top Brit. Patrick needs the 7 to finish 2nd. Both games were played simultaneously, with continuous information being relayed. Larry started off big against Jon and looked like he was headed for a 6. Meanwhile, Charles was up, but in a difficult pot-out position. Jon, down to one wink, gets on the major pile and blows it, leaving many free winks. Larry has lots of free greens and decides not to try to regain control and win the game, but rather to play for at least a 2. Charles end up taking his 6 and Larry plays safe to guarantee the 2 and the tournament. Alan’s pre-tournament prediction that the winner will lose two games is correct. Third, fourth, and fifth go to Mike Surridge, Alan Dean, and Jon Mapley. The closeness of the match is reflected in the top and bottom ppg, as the winning ppg was only 4.7, while the last place managed almost half of that, 2.3. Larry now runs his 4 year ETwA Singles stats to 3 wins and a second, going 33-1 (6.06) in the prelims and 38-6 (5.15) in the finals.
Corrigenda: In the article Rules Britannia vs. Rules Americana in Newswink 21, I often used the term ’’Peripheral Rule” when I meant ’’Perimeter Rule”.

Page 10 of Newswink 22 contains the NATwA Address List dated June 1988, which is not included online.