Front and Back


The Front and Back screen shows two separate result sets for each search. While most front and back searches can be executed using the context menu options, this is the only place to find parallel plays. Context menus are available here, but it is important to select a word in the list you want to use.


The hook display show words with a letter added either to the front or back. The front hooks are shown on top with the back hooks shown at the bottom.


The extensions display show words beginning or ending with the letters entered. Note that this does not show words with the letters in the middle of the word. Use Pattern searches for that purpose.


Related to the pattern search is the search for parallel plays. Parallel play searches take the word entered, builds a regular expression, and finds words that can be played parallel to it. Two sets of results are returned, with the first result list containing words that can be played in front of the letters, and the second list containing words that can be played behind the letters. Words returned include words up to one letter longer.

Guidelines for a search for parallel words are that the parallel play must cover all letters other than the first or last. The first and last letter are optional.


will return words that can be played parallel to WAITING, WAITIN or AITING.

Search results can include words that extend beyond those letters.
returns a long list of results which include
ZOMBIFY in the front with Z hanging over and
ZOYSIAS in the back with Z playing on the A for ZA

If you want to limit the results to only those words that can match each letter of the word, you can enter ? as the first and/or last letter
STAIN will return (484 + 378) results, but
?STAIN? only returns (4 + 10) results
?JOINT only returns 13 words that can be played on the back, and none on the front because there are no two letter words that end in J

WATCH returns no results because there are no two letter words containing C and C is not the first or last letter.


After finding words that will play parallel, you can enter the letters on your rack and it will show which ones you can play. The parallel plays are as long as the word played beside, so there may be other plays that do not cover as many characters in the initial play. For example, a search for TIES in parallel play returns 4269 + 1438 words, but the filter with a rack of WITCHES narrows it down to ETHIC, WITHE, ETHICS, SWITHE, and WITHES. The filter is also available for Hooks and Extensions.


Hoot finds parallel plays by building two regular expressions (patterns). The expressions used to find parallel plays are displayed next to the Search button. Understanding how patterns work can help you find more complete plays. For example, if you play ABBA over TIES, you can find the words that can be played underneath TIES with an expression based on what words are formed from each two letter combination. AT can be played on with an E or T, BI can be played on with B,D,G,N,O,S,T, and Z. Continuing this process you can develop the pattern [ET][BDGNOSTZ][DEGLNSTY][HKPS] to find 13 playable four letter words, and then another 3,938 longer words by adding asterisks on each end, which include 250 seven letter words.