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How to Score 1962 in a Single Turn!

               
       S      J
       Q      I
       U   EEVN
       AITTS AN
     O N     GY
     ODD   F AR
     TUE   L BI
P     TRI  O OC
R  GO(Y)IM   WINK
O(D)EA  FA  LEEDS
V  U  UN   R AH
E  D  LI   E GA
R IE ELAT  TIEW
 EN OX  AMP O  

   Blank board square.Letters in player's rack:
   Double letter score square.
BCHRSYZ
   Triple letter score square.
   Double word score square.The lucky player with the above letters plays BENZOXYCAMPHORS across the bottom of the board, getting 1962 points, and presumably going on to win the game!
   Triple word score square.
A  Letter tile A.
(A)  Blank tile, played as A.

In making the word BENZOXYCAMPHORS, seven other words are also created. These each score as shown below:

  • PROVERB: 14 on Triple Word Score = 42
  • GAUDEZ: 17 with Z on Double Letter Score = 27
  • DUTIFULLY: 16
  • SQUANDERMANIAC: 28 on Triple Word Score = 84
  • FLOWERETH: 18 with H on Double Letter Score = 22
  • VAGABONDAGER: 20
  • JINNYRICKSHAWS: 36 on Triple Word Score = 108

  • BENZOXYCAMPHORS: Z and H on Double Letter Score, and also on three Triple Word Score squares = 59 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 1593
  • Bonus 50 points for using all 7 tiles in one turn.

The total score, then, is 42 + 27 + 16 + 84 + 22 + 20 + 108 + 1593 + 50 = 1962.

This high-scoring Scrabble puzzle solution was devised by Jeff Grant of New Zealand. He based it upon a 1961-point solution jointly devised by Darryl Francis and Ron Jerome of England.

Unfortunately, not all of the words used are in the Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary, although they are all found in some major dictionary. The record for the most number of points won in a single turn using only words from Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary is 1682. Click here for details.

Can you do better?

It is likely that this example can be bettered. We challenge you to come up with a situation in which a higher-scoring turn is possible.

Remember, you are restricted by the number of tiles of each letter available, and by the size of the Scrabble board. You must also bare in mind that to be a valid Scrabble game, the words must be connected to the central (starting) square of the board in such a way that the point can be reached by legal play. Some of the techniques used to increase the score are discussed below:

  • Ideally you need a 15-letter word running along one side of the scrabble board, as this means it will cover three Triple Word Score squares – in effect multiplying the score by 27.
  • Try to leave all the premium scoring (coloured) squares uncovered so that you can benefit from them in the final move. Notice how, in the example above, none of the five premium scoring squares on the bottom row is covered.
  • The score will be higher if you have the highest scoring tiles in the player's rack. In the example above, the letters which are played in the move are mostly high scoring (Z=10, for example).
  • Placing high-scoring letters at the intersections of words means that they will be counted twice. The Z above is counted both for GAUDEZ and BENZOXYCAMPHORS.
  • Do not waste Double/Triple Letter Score squares by covering them with a low value letter tile.
  • If you need to use blanks, remember that where you choose to place them will have an effect on the score. Try to put them in words which are not changed by the addition of the new letters.
  • Don't forget that if all 7 tiles from the rack are used in one go there is a 50 point bonus.

Good luck! If you do find a higher-scoring example, we'd love to hear from you.

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