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Probably the shortest game ended in a negative score when both players passed in consective turns and players could even worse deliberately but snarling the board so badlY that words can't be placed just like many players achieve partially. I think the think the killer end would be some sort of word square. How low a score game can achieving by locking up the board using official English scrabble dictionary? The end is when both players no matter what they draw can still not play a valid word on the board.

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  • My guess would be 4 words each with a length of 5, making a box that crosses on the 2nd and 4th letter each. The corner letters would have to be something that does not allow for 2 letter words
    – Zibelas
    Jan 23 at 20:02
  • There is a professional game where they didn't play a word and both scored in the negatives
    – Styxsksu
    Jan 24 at 1:21
  • What is your end criterion? Is it (a) no player can play a word no matter what they draw from the bag in an exchange; that is, every combination of letters is invalid; or (b) neither player has a legal move on their rack currently and as a result they both pass? If the latter, suppose the players each played one move and drew tiles that could not form a word on the resulting board; how is that meaningfully different from both players passing without moving? Feb 16 at 0:29
  • Option (a) is the end criterion. Feb 16 at 8:24

1 Answer 1

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You can block a game completely with 9 tiles, with a score of ~41 (I didn't check carefully, might be off). See page 72 of Total Scrabble.

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  • My bid using the second solution by Joel Elkins is: G8 FEU 12, 9H UMm 7, 7G JEU 14, 10I Mm 10. The players' points total 43, but there's probably an improvement to be had using either the other solution or a different turn order. This assumes that no words have been added to the dictionary that invalidate this solution as is the case with Rick Wong's blankless solution. Feb 18 at 5:02

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