word game

How to play

Play the Letterbox Game by placing letters one at a time into the 4 by 4 grid to make as many 3- and 4-letter words as you can — across and down.

Random letters appear in the box at the top of the display, near the Next button. Click/tap in any vacant square of your playing grid to place the letter. You can try it in different squares and, when you're happy with where you've put the letter, use the Next button to lock it in and get the next letter.

See how often you can beat your automated opponent, Lexi. If there's room on the screen, Lexi's playing grid will appear beside or underneath yours. If Lexi's grid is not visible, you can look at it whenever you wish by clicking on the name "Lexi" on the scoreboard. (Click on "You" to get back to your own grid.)



Letter Freq
A 9
B 2
C 2
D 4
E 12
F 2
G 3
H 3
I 9
J 1
K 1
L 4
M 2
N 7
O 8
P 2
QU 1
R 6
S 5
T 7
U 4
V 2
W 2
X 1
Y 2
Z 1
Total 102

When a game is finished, press the Next button to clear the grids and start a new game. Running scores are kept until either you or Lexi reaches a total of 100 or more.

Press the Clear button at any stage to clear all scores and start a new series.

The letters are chosen randomly from a pool of letters, roughly in proportion to the frequency of letters appearing in English words (see table at right). Letters are chosen without replacement so certain letters can only appear once or twice in any game. A game cannot have more than three of any letter or more than seven vowels (A, E, I, O or U). The combination QU is treated as a single letter.

You can get a list of all the 4-letter words you could conceivably make in any row or column. Just press the ? at the start of the row or column you want to know about. The only restriction is that there must be at least one letter already placed in the row or column. The list of words takes account of the letters that have already been used in the game.


You score 3 points for a four-letter word and 1 point for a three-letter word. The maximum score for a single row or column is 5. For example, "RAMP" scores 1 point for "RAM", 1 point for "AMP" and 3 points for "RAMP".

If you score for a four-letter plural ending in "S", you do not score for the three-letter singular word. For example, "BEES" scores 3 points, not 4. (The same applies to verb forms ending in "S" such as "SEES".)

You do not score for words normally written with a capital letter or punctuation mark. British and American spellings are accepted - for example "GAOL" and "JAIL". Slang and "vulgar" words are included.