Scrabble is a simple, popular game of word construction, played on a 15x15 board. A question I have always had is, what is the best word that can be played?
According to my dictionary, "objectivization" is the most valuable word, for 38 points (all 15 letters across or down). It is only playable in no less than three turns: "ion", "object", and then "ivizat". Or if several of the letters are already set up, and someone plays across them.
If we limit this to eight-letter words (which are the kind found in the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary), then we have "highjack" for 28 points, beating the famous "quixotic", which has a raw score of only 26. However, "quixotic" has several very high-point letters, which might be used on various doubling and tripling squares. If we take these squares into account, what do we get?
The most valuable squares are, of course, playing along the sides of the board, with triple word and double letter scores. If we optimize the placement of the letters, we can get the following scores for up to fifteen-letter words:
Well, the first couple of words are probably not playable (since they might be proper nouns). But there are definitely some 1000-point words. And all of them are theoretically playable for that score, assuming that the row or column has a lot of the letters filled in, and someone plays across them.
If we limit this to words that eight letters long, we get the following:
The top two are, in fact, in the Scrabble Player's dictionary. The long-standing favorite, "quixotic", is sadly several entries down.
Stay tuned for more on Scrabble.