The other day I was playing the popular board game with my good friend, Chet Manley. Though he had me on the ropes for most of the game, I finally had a 6 letter word that I slapped down on the board with glee.

"Ha, 15 points, even though I had to use both blank tiles to get it," I said peppily. "But at least it is not a word you see every day."

"Oh, without a doubt, " Chet exclaimed, " it is a magnificent word. However, what you have put down is only a variation of its spelling. If you had had one additional tile, you could have used the 7-letter version and scored more points. However, that is a physical impossibility."

Confused, I stared at the board, and did not understand what Chet was trying to tell me. Can you tell me what I could have done, if only the laws of physics had let me?

Notes: Assume the English language and version of Scrabble.

Also, for scoring purposes, assume that no letter was on a modifying square.

If people seem to be having trouble, I will add in a hint later that will tell you what the point score of the new word would be if I had been able to play it.


1 Answer 1


The word was...

PIZAZZ. The two ending Z's were blank, so you scored 3+1+10+1=15 points.

And the reason you couldn't play the more common variant was...

Scrabble sets only have one Z and two blanks; PIZZAZZ has four Z's, so you couldn't play it.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Great Caesar's Ghost that was fast. $\endgroup$
    – APrough
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 12:17
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @APrough: Thank you! My thought process: The physical impossibility clued me in that there weren't enough tiles. I checked the Scrabble distribution and scores, saw that there was only one Z (good for low points by frequency, high rarity), then thought of words with four Z's. Found PIZZAZZ, checked the value, looked for altenate spellings, and posted! $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 12:27

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