Do Dot Hot Word Game 

Robert Harris
Version Date:  February 7, 2014


In the Do Dot Hot word game, a short seed word is chosen and players connect new words to it and to the played words by either adding a letter or changing a letter. The name of the game exemplifies this. The seed word DO is changed to DOT by adding a letter. The played word DOT is changed to HOT by changing a letter. Below is an example of part of a game.

ICE DICE

SITE







RICE
RITE
BITE
KITE






MICE

BATE







LICE

FATE
MATE






LACE
LACK
LARK
DARK
PARK
PACK
RACK
RACE
FACE

PACE



PART



FARE

PACT



PANT
PLANT
PLANET

CARE

FACT



RANT



CARET





















The seed word ICE is put in the upper left hand cell of the grid. Words formed by adding or changing letters are placed next to the seed or played word, either below it, or to the right or left.

In the game grid above, you can see that the seed word ICE was changed to DICE by adding a D, and then DICE was changed to several other words by changing a letter (RICE, MICE, etc.).

The Rules for DO DOT HOT

1. Each player receives one point for each word added, whether by adding or changing a letter.
2. A player plays until he or she cannot think of another word to add.
3. Only one letter can be changed or added at a time. (DATE to MATE but not DATE to VALE.) A player cannot both add a letter and change a letter to make a new word.
4. Letters cannot be rearranged in the new word. (PINK to PINE but not PINK to PIKE or PLANT to PLATE.)
5. Slang spellings are not allowed (NITE, TITE, THRU.)
6. A standard desk dictionary or online dictionary should be named as the authority before the game begins.
7. Pluralizing (adding an S, as in POT, POTS) or past tensing (adding a D, as in CITE, CITED) to get a new word is not permitted, unless players agree in advance by declaring "Plurals and Past."
8. A word already on the playing grid cannot be used again in a later transformation. For example, in the grid above, the player adding words under PARK in column 6 would not be able to add PACT after PART or PANT because (assuming) an earlier player had added PACT in column 2.
9. The new word must be added in a grid space next to the word it is transforming. If there is no free grid space, there is no play. A player is permitted to change direction on the grid to use free space as long as the newly played word is still next to the seed word.Thus, the player adding on to BITE in column 4 did not have room to add MATE under FATE because another player had used the cell below, so MATE was added to the right in column 6.
10. When a player has a turn, he or she may use any word on the grid as the seed and continue to add words according to the rules until either the player cannot think of any more or runs into an occupied cell. When none of the players can add any words, the game is over and the player with the highest number of points wins.
11. The seed word can be placed anywhere on the grid. Upper left or the center of the grid are two good locations.

Tips and Hints

1. To make scoring easy, have each player use a different color of pen or pencil. If you play on a PC, use a different font or different color type or different highlight color or shading.
2. Use the Playing Grid and Score Sheet available here in pdf format. (Requires Acrobat Reader or other pdf viewing application.)
3. Start with a short seed word. Examples: DO, SO, ANT, FIT, PEN, MAN, POT, TIP, TON, RED, END, BAT

Another Example

Here is another brief example of a DO DOT HOT grid. Why not continue the game for practice?

DO









DOT
HOT
POT
COT
SOT
GOT
GET
LET
LENT
BENT

HAT


SIT

BET

RENT


HATE


SITE

BAT

RANT


FATE


SATE

BAN

PANT


PATE




BAND

PAINT


LATE






PLAINT


MATE




VOLT




MITE




BOLT




BITE
BILE
MILE
MOLE
DOLE
DOLT
MOLT





Word Challenge 1: Target Word

In a variation of this game, you can give another person the seed word and a final word and challenge the person to find the transitional words in between the seed and final word. The challenge can be relatively simple, with only two or three intermediate words, or it can be quite challenging with several intermediate words. Remember, too, that there could be more than one set of intermediate words connecting the seed word and the final word.

To play, have each player agree on the same number of intermediate words (one, two, three, etc.) and then use one of the strings below or your own string to pick out a seed word and final word. For example, in the string beginning with YES below, if  you wanted two intermedeiate words, you might use TOTE as the seed word and VOLE as the final word. The other player would have to come up with ROTE and VOTE to get to VOLE.

Ultimate Spelling Sample Sequences:
PROWL, GROWL, GROWN
PLOT, PLAT, PLATE, PRATE, PIRATE
YES, YEW, FEW, SEW, SET, SOT, TOT, TOTE, ROTE, VOTE, VOLE, VALE, SALE, MALE, MALL, MILL, MILE, SMILE, SIMILE
BLOW, BLEW, BREW, CREW, CROW, CROWN, BROWN, BRAWN, PRAWN, DRAWN, DROWN
JOB, ROB, RIB, CRIB, CRAB, DRAB, DRAM, DRAMA
YET, GET, GOT, GOAT, MOAT, BOAT, BOAR, SOAR, SOLAR, SONAR
LAB, CAB, SCAB, SCAR, SCARF, SCARE, SCORE, SCORN, ACORN
JAB, JAW, SAW, SOW, COW, COWL, BOWL, BOIL, BROIL
WAN, WON, WIN, WINE, WIND,WINDY, WINDS, BINDS, FINDS, MINDS, MINES, MANES, MARES, MIRES, MORES, SORES, SIRES
TOE, HOE, HOP, TOP, STOP, SLOP, SLAP, SLIP, SLID, SLIM, SLIME

Word Challenge 2: Word Flipping

Try changing the beginning word to a word that means the opposite:
SOUR, SOAR, SEAR, SWEAR, SWEAT, SWEET
HOT, COT, COLT, COLD
PIE, PIKE, BIKE, BAKE, CAKE
RYE, ROE, ROT, GOT, GET, MET, MEAT, HEAT, WHEAT
SANE, CANE, CRANE, CRAZE, CRAZY
BAD, SAD, SOD, GOD, GOOD
BEEF, BEER, BEAR, FEAR, FEAT, FIAT, FIST, FISH

Word Challenge 3: Longest Word, Fewest Transforms

See who can form the longest word with the fewest number of changes. For this challenge, all endings are permitted:
BIT, BITE, BITER, BITTER, BUTTER, BUTTERY
CAT, COT, CLOT, CLOP, CLAP, CLAMP, CRAMP, CRIMP, CRIME, CRIMEA
PAL, PALE, PILE, PILER, MILER, SMILER
TO, TOE. TORE. STORE, SNORE, SNORER
SO, SOT, SCOT, SLOT, SLOP, SLOPE, ELOPE, ELOPER, ELOPERS


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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com