Adding a tile to each end of a Scrabble word

by Jane
(BC, Canada)

Can you place tiles on either end of a word (in one turn) that is already on the Scrabble board? For example, if WORD is down, could one person (in one turn) add an S to each end of it, to make SWORDS? Thanks, Jane

Hi Jane — Good question. And the answer is YES, you certainly can add a letter to both ends of a word on the board in a single play. In fact, you can add as many letters as you like to the ends of an existing word in a single move.

This can be a very handy way to reach two premium squares in a single move, which can result in some very high Scrabble scores.

For example, in a game I played once, the word PLAY was on the board between two triple word squares. I extended the word in both directions (in a single move) to make REPLAYED. Because this reached both triple word squares at the same time, I scored nine times the value of the word — that's 100+ points for a single move!

Such a move is called a triple-triple, or a nine-timer. You can also score a double-double, that's four times the face-value of a word, by spanning two double word squares with a single word. If you really get into things, and start learning lots of really weird Scrabble words, you can pull off some real miracles.

Serious Scrabble players get very good at this sort of thing. Like the ex world Scrabble champion, Joel Wapnick, who once extended an existing word GLOM (a weird Scrabble word that means'to steal') to make a triple-triple with another obscure Scrabble word EGLOMISE (an adjective, meaning 'made of glass with a painted picture on the back'). So he scored 99 points by just using the low-scoring letters E-I-S-E!

These types of moves are not just handy for high-scoring, they can get you out of trouble on a tight board too. The word MY, for example, is a bit of a blocker in Scrabble. But you can make AMYL (an organic chemical) and EMYD (a type of turtle) if you've been taking your Scrabble dictionary to bed lately ;-)

But now I'm getting way ahead of myself. The short answer to your question is that WORD to SWORDS in a single play is perfectly legitimate.

Click here to post comments

Return to Scrabble Help.