Small but powerful: high scoring three-letter words

Using a three-letter word can be a great way to use the high-scoring tiles J, Q, X and Z, especially by getting the power tile on a double- or triple-letter square. Here are some for you to learn that might help you:

J first: JUD a block of coal

J second: GJU a Shetland violin, an alternative spelling to GU

J third: there are three, HAJ, RAJ and TAJ: a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, an Indian word for government and a tall conical cap respectively

Q first: QAT a shrub with leaves used as a stimulant

Q third: SUQ an Arab marketplace

X first: XIS plural of XI, a Greek letter – the only three starting with X

X second: OXO an acid containing oxygen

X third: TEX a unit of weight of yarn

Z first: ZOL a cannabis cigarette

Z second: AZO a term used in chemistry

Z third: WIZ short for wizard

There are even some three-letter words with two power tiles: JIZ (a wig), ZAX (saxophone) and ZEX (a tool for cutting slates). There are no three-letter words with Q in the middle.

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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