March 4, 2024


Earlier today I introduced the Scrabblegram: a form of constrained writing in which you must use all 100 tiles in a Scrabble set, including the two blanks, and no other letters. Many of you sent me your Scrabblegrams, and I’ll print a few below.

But first, the answers to today’s puzzle, which I think is possibly the greatest wordplay puzzle of all time. Written by David Cohen, both the question and the answer are Scrabblegrams.

Here it is. The clues are quick crossword clues (the numbers in parentheses are the word lengths of the answers.) Just to repeat: the clues contain the 100 letters in a Scrabble set, and so do the answers. The question blank tiles are H and N, and the answer blanks are L and R.

The tile distribution in Scrabble is (letter, frequency): A9, B2, C2, D4, E12, F2, G3, H2, I9, J1, K1, L4, M2, N6, O8, P2, Q1, R6, S4, T6, U4, V2, W2, X1, Y2, Z1, Blank2. However, the best way to solve the puzzle is to use this online Scrabblegram player, which tells you what tiles you have left.

Solution PARADISE LOST, KONNICHIWA, FORGIVE AND FORGET, MERCURY, JEZEBEL, SALVAGED, TRANQUILITY, WIPEOUT, AMBIDEXTROUS, A HOLE IN ONE

The above puzzle is a work of genius. But just to show he isn’t a one-hit wonder, David composed another one. Again both the clues, and the answers are Scrabblegrams.

Solution THIRTEEN, FREE PARKING, JAMBALAYA, DEVOUT, ZOOKEEPER, QUICHE LORRAINE, FAWN, DIVIDED, TOXICOLOGIST, GAUNTLY, BUSINESSWOMAN

Writing a Scrabblegram is very difficult, but that didn’t put you off. (If you read the original post you can see Cohen’s tips for how to write them.) What is hard in the challenge is to make the text flow smoothly and say something interesting that makes sense.

Here are three I enjoyed:

No joke! This January I too realized playing word games with friends could be a favourable or even quite exciting pastime!

(Blanks I, J) By Charmaine Minami

January shopping is quite stimulating. Every week I get a box of hard brown treacle, four dozen delicate violets, and a limo.

(Blanks L, T) By Chris Jones

The Peak District is amazing, a rural paradox enjoying green hills, woods, water, life… quiet but vivid. No fear; you become one.

(Blanks I, R) By Lesley Caddy.

Thanks everyone who sent me examples, and also to those people who posted them below the line in the previous post. Please continue adding more below!

Thanks to David Cohen for today’s puzzles. He has just published Scrabblegrams, a book of 75 original Scrabblegrams on a wide variety of topics including art, history and science, with a small British publisher, Penteract Press, which specialises in constrained and visual poetry. You can buy it here.

You can read more of Cohen’s Scrabblegrams on his website.You can follow him on X: @dc_scrabblegram to where he posts a daily Scrabblegram of the Day.

Scrabble is a registered trademark of HASBRO.

I’ve been setting a puzzle here on alternate Mondays since 2015. I’m always on the look-out for great puzzles. If you would like to suggest one, email me.





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