As far as I know, I invented this puzzle.


Starting with the one-letter words "A" or "I" how far is it possible to progress towards the 36-letter word "Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobics"?


  1. Increase the word length by one at each step.

  2. The new word must begin with the last letter of the previous word.

  3. The words must be in the list shown here https://www.litscape.com/words/litscape_default_word_list.html#mt_length

  4. If you have a preferred list of words (for example https://www.morewords.com/wordsbylength ), you may use it for search purposes, but before submission you must verify that all of your words appear in the list given in 3.

  5. All letters of the alphabet must appear at least once as the last letter of some word. Repetitions are allowed. If you cannot achieve all letters, then get as far as you can without alphabetic gaps, e.g. A - X (where Y and Z are impossible)

  6. You may solve this using brains or computer, or even brains and computer!


A, As, Sax, Xyst, Thank, Kaftan, ..., Honorificabilitudinitatibus, ...

NOTE - Please ask for clarification if anything is uncertain.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your dictionary has no 26 letter words so it would be impossible to get more than 25 words and you will always break rule 5. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Jul 28, 2020 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ @hexomino - Thanks, I've fixed it. I changed the word list and a rule! $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ This seems like more of a game than a puzzle, no? The question seems to be about getting the "best score you (personally) can" rather than finding a definitive solution. I'm not saying it's immediately off-topic, but it does seem to me to not really be meant as a puzzle. (It doesn't violate the letter of the "no open-ended questions" meta ruling, but it definitely seems to me to violate the spirit of it.) $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jul 29, 2020 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ Number sequence puzzles are often pretty low-quality, but the best ones have a clearly intended answer -- once that answer is given, it definitively answers the question. Here, wanting to "give credit for partial solutions" is exactly the problem: the phrasing of "credit" implies that this is meant more as a personal high-score-based challenge, rather than a question with a single intended answer. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jul 29, 2020 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi - Okay I have fixed it. The question is "how far is it possible to progress". I have removed the comparison aspect. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 9:12

1 Answer 1



29 is not possible

It isnt possible to reach 36 or 35 since no words with length 35 or 34 ends in H. According to this logic, the best chain from longest downwards would be

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious(34) quinquagintaquadringentilliardths(33)

but no words length 32 ends in q.

The next chain would be

dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholines(31) quinquagintaquadringentilliard(30)

which met the same fate.

The next would be

hexakosioihexekontahexaphobes(29) quinquagintatrecentilliardth(28)

which ALSO met the same fate.

OK, I'll stop here now, and post a successful sequence. Many others exist, but I'm not a computer, and don't eat codes, so here is one.

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ D E M O Q R U sounds like the beginning of demoqrucy. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 10:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I am impressed, it never occurred to me to work backwards. I really want to see the result. I'm adding a bounty tomorrow. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @chasly-reinstateMonica thanks! well i've finished, might as well give me the bounty XD $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 12:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ From 21 to 22 letters, $l\neq p$? Or I misunderstood something? $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 12:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I hate to break the news but rule 5, "All letters of the alphabet must appear at least once as the last letter of some word..." Sorry, I didn't check the intermediate work. :-( Nevertheless, congratulations on this result! $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 12:45

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