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You are given a QWERTY keyboard, and are allowed to choose where you wish to start. You are only able type in the same way a knight is able to move on a chessboard (but in this case, on the keyboard).

What is the largest proper English word you can make?

 ┌───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┐
 | Q | W | E | R | T | Y | U | I | O | P |
 └─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┘
   | A | S | D | F | G | H | J | K | L |
   └─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴───┘
     | Z | X | C | V | B | N | M |
     └───┴───┴───┴───┴───┴───┴───┘
(Thanks to GOTO 0's post for the keyboard)

For some clarification, when moving move the 3 spaces left or right, the knight will turn onto the furthest key. When moving up or down, you can go to either side.

Examples:

(left or right):

A->(R or C) and not E or X

G->(E or X/ I or M) and not R or C

(up or down):

W->(Z or C/ F) to clarify vertical movement: [W-S-X->Z or C]

V->(U or T or E/ S or J) to clarify vertical movement: [V-G-Y->T or U or E]

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ V->(T or U) would E be allowed as well? $\endgroup$
    – Bob
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob Yes, both initial directions are allowed. I only showed one to keep the examples small. $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For real clarification, you should instead extend the examples instead of keeping them small. $\endgroup$
    – Mitja
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ How about two letters in a row? $\endgroup$
    – michaelpri
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:40
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because without defining "word" it turns into an ill-defined, open-ended puzzle (and open-ended puzzles are off-topic as of May 2019) $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Aug 5, 2021 at 3:58

5 Answers 5

7
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I can't beat six, unless I'm allowed to use an exotic animal:

Caracara, with 8 letters.

Then here are the old, invalid answers that I'm keeping here so the comments make sense. =P

Seven letter exotic animals: caracal, aracari
Other six-letter words: carhop, unfull

I will admit I wrote a program for this, though I think I did it before the no-computers tag popped up (or at least I didn't see it). Also apparently it was a bad program since it gave me several invalid answers!

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  • $\begingroup$ L is not reachable from A and I is not reachable from R, so both your 7-letter animals are invalid. And you can't reach P from O, so carhop is also invalid. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2015 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ My goodness, I really screwed the pooch on this one. Should have double checked my work! I'll leave these up as a testament to carelessness. =P $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2015 at 21:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Am I right that LL is cheating? $\endgroup$
    – kaine
    Jun 1, 2015 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ 8-letter word, though? That's pretty good. $\endgroup$
    – Brilliand
    Jun 1, 2015 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ Could you edit this to stress that Caracara is the answer? It is the only valid word here but the best one anyone has found. $\endgroup$
    – kaine
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:56
3
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The best I can find has 4

Arch

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So far, I've only been able to find some 4-letter words:

Carb: C, C-X-Z -> A, A-S-D -> R, R-F-V -> B
Gimp: G, G-H-J -> I, I-J-N -> M, M-K-O -> P
Bibi: B, B-H-U -> I, I-J-N -> B, B-H-U -> I

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I swear I didn't use the other answer! (6)

Archon

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1
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My Score is 4

This is how I understand the rules (the letter before the colon can reach each letter after the colon in 1 move):

N:T,F,U,O,L
C:W,A,R,Y,H
Q:D,X
J:T,P,V
F:W,U,Z,N
K:Y,B
P:J,M
U:F,V,N,L
O:H,N
Y:D,C,B,K,M
B:R,D,Y,I,K
I:G,B,M
E:X,G,V
H:R,O,C
T:S,X,V,J,N
W:Z,F,C
R:A,Z,C,H,B
M:Y,G,I,P
V:E,S,T,U,J
X:Q,E,T,G
D:Q,Y,B
Z:W,R,F
S:T,V
L:U,N
A:R,C
G:E,I,X,M

Despite the no-computers tag, I was curious if it's really that hard to find words. It seems to be: Trying this against the word list in /usr/share/dict/words under linux with almost 100k english words only got these (omitting anything below 4 letters):

RACY ARCH LUVS LULU CARA MIMI

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