One of the first unfamiliar things you might come across when you begin playing Spelling Bee is the Pangram. A pangram in normal use is when a sentence uses every letter of the alphabet. The most famous one in English is probably, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” However, the New York Times Spelling Bee, a pangram is a word that uses all seven of the letters on the board.
Use all seven of those letters, and you’ll get a bonus of seven points on top of the at least seven points you are getting. The Pangram because the highest point word you can almost always in a puzzle.
Every puzzle is guaranteed to have at least one pangram. Sometimes there are two, and occassionally you will even see three pangrams. When there are multiples, the pangrams are often easily derived from each other. Although not often.
Do You Have to Get the Pangram?
No, you do not. It is possible to get to the Genius level without getting the pangram. It is just much harder. This is particularly true on days when Genius is in the 50s or 60s. The minimum 14 points one gets for a Pangram puts a big dent. When Genius is 200 points, not getting 14 points is a little more affordable.
Ultimately, for me, there is a feeling of accomplishment and failure if I get to Genius without the pangram. It’s the harder way to do it, but it also means I missed one of the most valuable items on the puzzle. If I hit genius without getting the pangram, I will often keep playing until I can find the pangram.
Oh, in case you are curious, you can always find Today’s NYT Pangram here.