Seven-letter stems

Just as you can use six-letter stems to help you remember lots of useful seven-letter words, you can take seven-letter stems and use them to find eight- letter words. About half of all bonus words played are eight-letter words – you can’t afford to neglect them.

Let’s take a rack like AEGILNR; you may be able to play one of the seven-letter words it makes – ALIGNER, ENGRAIL (decorate with small notches), LAERING (from laer, make a circle with wagons), LEARING, NARGILE (another name for a hookah), REALIGN, REGINAL (queenly). But if it’s the sort of board that’s more amenable to eight-letter bonuses, it’s good to be able to call on the likes of these:

+A:       GERANIAL substance used in (lemony) perfume


+B:       BLEARING




DEARLING darling

+E:      ALGERINE woollen cloth

+F:      FINAGLER one who finagles, achieves their ends via trickery


LAGERING fermenting into lager


NARGILEH other words for hookah

+I:          GAINLIER

+J:         JANGLIER

+L:         ALLERGIN

+M:       MALINGER




GERANIOL substance used in (rosy) perfumes

+P:        GRAPLINE device with several hooks



+S:        REALIGNS

SALERING enclosure for livestock at market

+T:           ALERTING

TERAGLIN Australian fish

+V:          RAVELING


+Y:          RELAYING


By Barry Grossman

Barry is a leading UK Scrabble player and winner of several tournaments. He is the author of Scrabble for Beginners (Chambers), Need to Know Scrabble, Scrabble – Play to Win and The Little Book of Scrabble Trickster. He has also contributed to numerous other books on the subject of words and word-games, has been a series champion of Channel 4’s Countdown, and has written four comedy series for BBC Radio 4. He lives in Hertford.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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