11

Are there any words that are impossible on Scrabble even if the blank tiles are used?

I mean that the words can't be played because there are not enough tiles to play it.

19

According to this reddit thread, the complete list of words in the allowed dictionary (which doesn't list words with more than 15 letters), the Collins Scrabble Words list from 2015, that you can't make with the available tile set is:

BAZZAZZ
BEZZAZZ
PAZZAZZ
PIZZAZZ
PIZZAZZY
BAZZAZZES
BEZZAZZES
PAZZAZZES
PIZZAZZES
KNICKKNACK
RAZZMATAZZ
KNICKKNACKS
RAZZAMATAZZ
RAZZMATAZZES
RAZZAMATAZZES
STRESSLESSNESS
CLASSLESSNESSES
POSSESSEDNESSES
SENSELESSNESSES
SUCCESSLESSNESS

17

The Scrabble board is 15 squares square. That means that no word longer than 15 letters can possibly be played. So 'absentmindedness', 'counterbalancing', and 'antidisestablishmentarianism' will never be played in a Scrabble game.

There is only 1 'z' and 2 blanks. That means that any word with 4 'z's cannot possibly be played. This is not a particularly long list, but 'pizzazz', 'razzmatazz', and their conjugates are on it.

There may be other words formed using multiples of other rare letters, or combinations of rare letters, but I think this answers your question in the affirmative.

  • 2
    Of course, if playing the Dutch tile set with 20 "e"s and three "z"s worth only 2 each, the game is very different. – Forget I was ever here Sep 14 at 7:40
  • 2
    What's the shortest? – Scratch---Cat Sep 14 at 8:12
  • 3
    "What's the shortest?" is likely best made as a new question or an edit/clarification/addendum to the original question rather than a comment on this answer. – L. Scott Johnson Sep 14 at 14:07
  • 1
    There is another much harder to enumerate class of unplayable words due to the limitation of only being able to play 7 letters at a time. In order to prove an 8-15 letter word is in this class, you'd have to show that there is no configuration of the other letters that forms a connected grid on which the word can be played with < 8 tiles in a turn without running out of any letters. This would be pretty challenging to prove, but there probably are words for which this is the case. – Darrel Hoffman Sep 15 at 19:19

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