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Scrabble champ crowned with help from a Ukranian lute

The 42nd National Scrabble Champion has been crowned after winning a high-stakes war of words at the final of the annual competition.

Teacher Paul Allan, from Rushden in Northamptonshire, beat Allan Simmons, a Scrabble consultant from Coldingham Village in the Scottish Borders, at the event in central London.

Paul Allan (left) from Rushden in Northamptonshire and Allan Simmons from Coldingham Village in the Scottish Borders. Credit: Richard Lewis/Mattel/PA

Mr Allan sealed the win by playing 'bandura', a Ukrainian lute, scoring 86 points and giving him an incontestable lead in the deciding match.

The last match finished with an overall score of 503 for Mr Allan, beating Mr Simmons' 389.Mr Allan said: "I am delighted to have won, especially given the fact that the final is played to a public audience of players who expect to be impressed.

Paul Allan and Allan Simmons during the 42nd British National Scrabble Championships held in London. Credit: Richard Lewis/Mattel/PA

"Allan played exceptionally well and was a delight to compete with."He was declared the winner after a gruelling best-of-five showdown.As well as achieving the ultimate accolade for any Scrabble fan, he also won £2,500 in cash.

Other high-scoring words played throughout the final were: Kernite - a mineral - for 100; Mete - to measure - worth 34 points; Exordial - to begin - for 92; Portage - toll on a bridge - for 76;

Shrieval - relating to a sheriff - for 97; Valerate - a chemical salt - worth 36 points; and Coniines - a poisonous alkaloid found in poison hemlock - for 98 points.