Using the letter F

Not a favourite tile for most players, the best use of the F is often just to hunt for a handy vowel or Y which has a premium square beside it, and use that to play a two-letter word, preferably going both ways to double the value.

So if, say, an O has a triple-letter square to the right, you could put the F on it to score thirteen. Then play downwards if possible, even with another two-letter word, and your score is into the high twenties.

The two-letter words with F are:

FA, FE (Hebrew letter), FY (exclamation of disapproval), EF, IF, OF

Useful threes with an F include:


To FUB is to cheat, a WOF is a fool, a FOU is a bushel, and FAP means drunk. There are two wonderful fours which both come from the Muslim world – FIQH (law) and WAQF (charity). In the same vein you can also play FAQIR (person who spurns worldly possessions).

Your best chance of a bonus with an F may involve the prefix FORE-, such as FOREARM, FORELEG, FORENAME. The likeliest suffix is -IFY (RECTIFY, IDENTIFY, etc.). If you haven’t got the Y, see if -IFIED or -IFIES are any help. There aren’t so many seven- letter words with these endings but there are a few nice eights, like RATIFIED/RATIFIES and PACIFIED/ PACIFIES.

With six one-point tiles and an F, you might have SEALIFT, FANSITE or INSOFAR. Or with another one- pointer on the board, you could come up with FILTRATE, FARINOSE (containing flour) or the rather wonderful OLEFIANT, an adjective meaning ‘oil-forming’.

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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