The Official SCRABBLE ® Puzzle Book


Calling all players, beginners and experts alike! Here are the plays you can't afford to miss: 800 puzzles to sharpen your thinking and hone your crossword skills, specially designed and selected by SCRABBLE superstar Joe Edley, the only two-time winner of the National SCRABBLE® Championship and coauthor of Everything SCRABBLE®.
Learn how to:

  • "Read the board" and see where you can score the most points — and ...
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Calling all players, beginners and experts alike! Here are the plays you can't afford to miss: 800 puzzles to sharpen your thinking and hone your crossword skills, specially designed and selected by SCRABBLE superstar Joe Edley, the only two-time winner of the National SCRABBLE® Championship and coauthor of Everything SCRABBLE®.
Learn how to:

  • "Read the board" and see where you can score the most points — and where you can't.
  • Increase your word game skills with 97 must-know two-letter words
  • Build knockout numbers with bonus squares, two-letter words and parallel plays
  • Score with the high-point tiles: J, Q, X, and Z
  • Balance your rack by playing off weak three-, four-, and five-tile combinations
  • Find the key to success with bingos and seven-letter plays
  • Find the Ideal Play — eight questions to ask yourself, plus the Ideal Play on computer
  • Win at SCRABBLE — six key factors
  • Find the best play in real game action — fifty actual games re-created in this book, complete with the author's analysis and computer simulation results.

National champion Joe Edley aims to enhance your SCRABBLE-playing skills. Discover tips, shortcuts, and special plays in actual game situations, and a battery of increasingly complex puzzles as you learn to play with the pros.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671569006
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/1997
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 644,758
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 7.38 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Edley is the 1980 National Scrabble Champion and is widely considered one of the foremost experts on the game today. He lives on Long Island.

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Read an Excerpt


There is a certain mental process that good SCRABBLE® game players undergo as they look for good plays. The puzzles in this book are designed not only for entertainment but to help the average player develop that process. It's possible for someone with an average vocabulary, enlarged only with the two hundred extra words listed on pages 7-8, to solve every one of the puzzles in this book.

Here is a suggestion for the aspiring expert: Start with a board and tiles in front of you. Recreate the diagrams and racks and rearrange your tiles while trying to find the solutions. For each diagram of five puzzles, take at most thirty minutes to solve them, and then look at the answers. Ask yourself what you could have thought that would have led you to the answers. This process of replaying in your mind how you can improve your thinking can have a profound influence on developing your crossword game skills. If you don't get useful results from this "questioning" process, then don't labor over it. Let the questions simply alert you that you'd like the answers at some future time, and then forget about them.

Of course, for those who aren't easily frustrated, you may enjoy the challenge of spending extra time to earn the very best score attainable. For those readers, I say good luck!

Part One is all about learning how to "read the board." "Reading the board," in part, is being able to find the open rows and columns where you'll be able to score the most points, and where you cannot.

Chapter 1 shows you how to read our notational system and learn some important and useful definitions. There's also a short word list of about two hundred words, including all ninety-seven twoletter words, that you'll want to learn in order to solve all the puzzles and increase your word-game skills.

Chapter 2 is all about learning the best way to utilize two-letter words. There are a hundred puzzles, and every two-letter word is showcased in order to familiarize the reader with them.

Chapter 3 is about using bonus squares, two-letter words, and making parallel plays. 50 puzzles.

Chapters 4-6 are designed to increase your ability to use bonus squares effectively. The complexity increases with each chapter. 150 puzzles.

Chapter 7 shows how to take advantage of the J, Q, X, and Z. 50 puzzles.

Chapter 8 will give you a tougher challenge. These puzzles combine all you've learned in the previous chapters. 50 puzzles.

Part Two is about playing the weaker combinations of letters from your rack in order to save the really good ones.

Chapter 9 gives practice playing off three tiles at a time. 50 puzzles.

Chapter 10 can help you learn how to play off four tiles at a time. 50 puzzles.

Chapter 11 is devoted to practicing finding five-tile plays. 100 puzzles.

Part Three is all about playing all seven tiles of your rack at once.

Chapter 12 shows how to find seven- and eight-letter plays. 150 puzzles.

Part Four is about the theory and practice of making the Ideal Play each turn.

Chapter 13 explains how to go about finding the Ideal Play.

Chapter 14 gives real game positions and analyzes them in order to give you a framework for how experts think. 50 puzzles.

Copyright © 199 by Joe Edley

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Table of Contents




1 Notations, Definitions, and a Short Word List

2 Two-Letter Words


3 Placing Your Words on Hot Spots


4 Bonus Squares, One at a Time


5 Bonus Squares, Two at a Time


6 Bonus Squares, Choice of Five


7 The J, Q, X, and Z


8 The Highest-Scoring Play, No Hints!



9 Three-Tile Plays


10 Four-Tile Plays


11 Five-Tile Plays



12 Bingos: Beginnings and Endings, the Key to Success



13 A Practical Guide for Choosing the Ideal Play

14 Actual Game Positions: Your Move!


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