Till You Make It (Solution)

by Rob Speer

This is a puzzle about phonies -- words that you'd think might be in the Scrabble dictionary, but aren't.

In this puzzle, phonies are defined to be words that do not appear in the OWL2 (American) or CSW12 (international) Scrabble wordlists, but do have legitimate entries in Wiktionary, and are reasonably convincing about being "real words". Many of the puzzles involve many valid plays that don't feel like real words, for contrast.

On each board, the plays you have available are unimpressive. However, if you make a play that results in one phony intersecting another phony, you will score a large amount of points. Sometimes one phony is already on the board. In other cases your play forms both of them.

All non-phony words in play are from OWL2 (also known as TWL06 and approximated by the Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary, 4th Edition). We made sure that using CSW12 instead does not change the puzzle.

You're given an ordered list of scores to achieve:

93 pts: use AEEFFLR to spell FREEFAlL* at 4A
    forms SEAL and intersects PLAYSET* on an L

98 pts: use BDILNOR to spell colORBLIND* at A1
    intersects ONESIE* on an O

114 pts: use CDHIOOW to spell bIrCHWOOD* at 3F
    forms WAG, OX and intersects BOOKBAG* on a B

74 pts: use DILORST to spell  wORDLIST* at E5
    intersects BOWTIE* on a W

90 pts: use AEIRRVW to spell REARVIeW* at 12E
    forms WO, intersects CRUMPLER* on an E

95 pts: use DELIORT to spell OLDTImER* at 7C
    forms HO, AL, MODCHIP*, TO, ID; intersects MODCHIP* on a D

85 pts: use GINNTUW to spell WINGNUT* at 9D
    forms DAWG*, TON, YOU; intersects DAWG* on a G

107 pts: use ACDEHHT to spell DEATHmatCH* at H3
    forms AD, JETSET*, YAW, TOP; intersects JETSET* on an E

The letters at the intersections of two phonies spell LOBWEDGE.