Christmas Puzzle 2018.

This puzzle has been inspired by a game played between two of our members a few weeks back.

One of the players had an unplayable Q, the other player failed to maximise her score as she played her remaining tiles in 2 moves.
Frequently if your opponent is stuck with one tile it can be profitable to play out slowly.

Using this Christmas themed board below and the rack AESTUWZ how many points can you score before the end of the game ?

Please email me answers (so others don't know how many you got!) Remember to include your individual move scores. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Can you score more than 50 points ? 70 ? over 100 ?

The highest score will be published on the website in the New Year... will it be yours ?

Christmas Scrabble Puzzle 2018 – The Highest Answer

The highest score we found on the above board is 134.

If you attempted the puzzle and you didn’t get near this score, don’t worry -  hopefully you will see how the score can be achieved and if you look back at your solution you will discover how you could have scored more.

But how did we did we score 134 ?

Firstly, despite the puzzle’s preamble, the Q is playable (onto the I of SLEIGH). Your first move MUST block this space. Failure to do this will result in one move from you and one move from your opponent.

You have various ways to block the Q. Here are a few :

TI (4);    IT/TI (4); WIT/TI (16);  ZIT (34);  AI (4) ; AIT (7); LA/AE (4); WE(5): SI (4); SIT (7)

It follows therefore we have a few choices so we need to concentrate on which titles would be more useful in future moves. (For example, using the S for 4 is wasteful as it can accrue more points by pluralising PRESENT-s for 10. )

It also useful to remember that if your opponent cannot play, you have as many moves as you have letters (in this case as many as 7 moves). Playing slowly, by building up the letters in a word, you will be re-accruing all the points for the original word.

For example, if you select WIT/TI as your first move, you will score 16 points.

If you play IT/TI (4) and then WIT (14) you will score 18. Two points more.

Another way to accrue points is to set up multi-directional premium squares.

Taking the IT/TI (4), WIT (14) example, we could then play an A making LAW/AE (8) giving a total of 26.

However, playing IT/TI (4) then LAW/WIT/AE as the second move scores 30, giving a total of 34.   8 points more.

But the W is not the only letter than can be placed in the triple letter score. A ‘Z ‘  can be used to make ZIT.   This is how one of the better totals can be achieved:

IT/TI                         4                           Total     4

LEZ/ZIT/EE           66                           Total   70

WHOLLY               20                           Total   90

AB                          12                           Total 102                              (using the B of BOX)

ICES/SI                  16                           Total 118

GU                           6                           Total 124                              (using the G of MANGER)

Our 10 point Z, added 60 points to the total !

But, there is another place on the board where the Z can score lots of points.

Making AZO in parallel to BOX.

IT/TI                         4                           Total     4

ZO/ZO                   22                           Total   26                              (building up to AZO)

AZO/AB                48                           Total   74

ZOEA/EE              17                           Total   91                              (a sneaky hole created by the ZO/ZO move)

WHOLLY               20                           Total 111

ICES/SI                  16                           Total 127

GU                           6                           Total 133                              (using the G of MANGER)

This gives a higher total of 133.

But wait !

At the top of this article we said the highest is 134. Where did the extra 1 point come from?

A game of Scrabble is over when one player has no tiles left or there 6 moves of zero (passes, challenges, changes). You have 2 free plays at playing a speculative move before playing a valid move (GU 6). (Your opponent’s Q passing are 3 of the 6 moves). DOUM is ripe for guessing and scores 7, giving a total of 134.

Please note : this article has concentrated on blocking the Q with IT/TI, as it turns out TI (4) is equally valid. We have not managed to get such a high score by blocking the Q in any other way.

Also note we will still have the Q to add onto our score and subtract form out opponents, giving 154 points accrued in the endgame.

Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year!

For those struggling with the  Christmas Endgame Puzzle here is something a little easier..

what are 4 5 letter words you can make with XMAS and a blank ?

Three are fairly well known.

Solution  :

EXAMS

MAXES

MAXIS

MOXAS

Happy Christmas!

This puzzle has been inspired by a game played between two of our members a few weeks back.

One of the players had an unplayable Q, the other player failed to maximise her score as she played her remaining tiles in 2 moves.

Frequently if your opponent is stuck with one tile it can be profitable to play out slowly.

Using this Christmas themed board below and the rack AESTUWZ how many points can you score before the end of the game ? (The words with blanks are MYRRH and JESUS).

Can you score more than 50 points ? 70 ? over 100 ?

Quiz Time !

There are 27 3 letter words ending in Z... but how many do you know ?

For the experienced player finding over 15 is quite achievable, for the less experienced try to find 8-10.

in a few lines time

bit further

bit further

soon be here

here they are :

BEZ

BIZ

CAZ

COZ

CUZ

FEZ

FIZ

JIZ

LEZ

LUZ

MIZ

MOZ

POZ

REZ

RIZ

SAZ

SEZ

SOZ

TIZ

WAZ

WIZ

WUZ

YEZ

ZIZ

ZUZ

ZZZ

Well done if you got them all!

This quiz is inspired by a word laid recently at East Berks Scrabble Club.

What are the 4 letter words you can make with YIN and a blank. (There are 16 in all).

What are the 5 letter words you can make with YANG and a blank (There are 11 in all).

This quiz is quite hard – so try to find 8-10 words in total. If you find 11-15 well done, and more than 15 is excellent.

Under here

Under here

Under here

Keep going

Keep going

Nearly there

YIN :

A: AYIN

B: INBY

K: INKY

L: INLY, LINY

M : MINY  (The word MINIEST was played at the club, leading to a discussion about MINY)

O : YONI

P: PINY, PYIN

S: YINS

T : TINY, TIYN, TYIN

V: VINY

W: WINY

X: NIXY

YANG :

D: GANDY

E: GEYAN, GYNAE

G: NAGGY

K: KYANG

M: MANGY

O: AGONY

R: ANGRY, RANGY

S: YANGS

T: TANGY