Haanta Series Zip-It!

While Crab Asaan was at PAX, he was kind enough to bring me a souvenir: a word game called Zip-It, made by the creators of Bananagrams. I had played neither game before and was therefore most ready and happy to give Zip-It a try. The game can be played with one or two people. Each player received twelve block pieces, each of them with differing letters on the six faces. The goal of the game is to create a small crossword using all twelve blocks within a few seconds. The person who succeeds moves their allotted zipper colour up a notch, and the game begins again. The game is played in this style until one of the two players reaches ten. There are variations on the main rules that can be played, but making a crossword is the general way of going on.

If you're like Crab Asaan and abhor anyone endeavouring to trounce your unmitigated magnificence, the game can be played with one person. The object here is to give yourself an overall theme and use all twenty-four blocks to create a crossword while keeping every word created in-line with the main theme. Here Crab Asaan only used twelve letters, but has limited understanding being a crab and therefore we won't tell him that all twenty-four blocks should be in play for a single-player game.

I quite enjoy playing this game by myself: there is no competition, no race against time, just an enjoyable word-building activity that expatiates my long-suppressed Tetris skills while forcing me to be a clever and concise as possible. Some of my crosswords take quite a few minutes, but those are the ones of which I am usually most proud. When I give myself a theme, sometimes I just enjoy creating crosswords that fit in complex manners and leave out one or two letters just for the challenge of having everything sync. My Howard crossword was not particularly well-done (I had others that were much more impressive with regard to word-length, but had absolutely no aesthetic value), but it is merely a quick example of a single-player challenge.

I recently gave myself the Haanta Series challenge: the object was to create crosswords with specific Haanta Series themes in mind. These three are all missing one or two letters, but these were done as a quick practice round.

I tried to keep with the either one particular region or one family of characters. I had to do much finagling to get Qwynlin's name to fit, and it was only after I had finished the crossword that I realized I had used both Ys instead of a Y and an I. I enjoy making things harder on myself.

Here are my crowning achievements in the game: crosswords with Haanta Series themes which use all twenty-four letters.

True, Ennan's name should have the A and the N switched, but as they are merely next to each other and require no letter switch, I'm still proud of the manner in which that one took form. As well, I improvised on the puzzle with the Feyword names; I was so happy that I figured out how to fit Lamir's name between the rows that I didn't bother searching for Ms and merely flipped the Ws. Had I been more patient with myself and changed out some letters for others, I could have found the Ms I needed, but I never give myself the same quarter as I would others with regard to games.

If you have not played Zip-It or any of the other Bananagrams games, I highly recommend them. They can be played by anyone, anytime, anywhere, and do very well to keep the mind sharp, whether you be person or crab.


  1. I can see where this would get addicting. The gals in my office play bananagrams over the break almost every day and its similar.


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