20
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This is another challenge along the same vein as similar challenges that have shown up on this site, requiring the puzzle to craft the longest possible sentence given a specific requirement.


What is the longest sentence with n words, where n is the number of Scrabble points that each of its words is worth?

Here is an example, for clarification, with Scrabble scores for each letter underneath:

She has two blue rental cars.  
141 411 141 3111 111111 3111

As you can see, the sentence has 6 words, where each word has a Scrabble score of 6.


Included for your convenience is a list of Scrabble letters by points:

1 point: e, a, i, o, n, r, t, l, s, u
2 points: d, g
3 points: b, c, m, p
4 points: f, h, v, w, y
5 points: k
8 points: j, x
10 points: q, z 

Further rules:

  • New rule: You cannot use words more than once in a sentence. I originally allowed this so that sentences like starplusplus's ("They couldn't teach what they should have taught; imagine trying!) would be possible (two uses of "they") - unfortunately, it's proved rather degenerate. While it's nice to know the longest possible sentence, let's find one that doesn't use methoxybenzenes 21 times.
  • Proper nouns are not allowed, even if some form of the same word is in the Scrabble dictionary. This means you can't use "Bob" as a name even though "bob" is listed by another definition.
  • In order for your answer to be accepted, you have to explain what your sentence means. Typing a 30-word sentence without explaining it will likely just confuse me!
  • I'm not going to be super strict on punctuation, but be reasonable; semicolons, dashes and commas can be used to break the sentence into fragments, and contractions are acceptable as well.

(6/3/2015) Update: I'm no longer allowing use of the same word twice in a sentence. All other rules are still in play. I'm hoping this will make for more diverse sentences, as well as more interesting ones!

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  • $\begingroup$ 'Proper nouns are not allowed, even if some form of the same word is in the Scrabble dictionary. This means you can't use "Bob" as a name even though "bob" is listed by another definition.' Your own example sentence is invalidated by the song 'Cars' by Gary Numan, whose title is a proper noun, and also by Mr. Blue from Reservoir Dogs. $\endgroup$ – Nathaniel Jun 2 '15 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ No, @Nathaniel, you have misunderstood the rule. The word "bob" is allowed, but it may not be used in a sentence as a proper noun "Bob". In the example sentence, none of the words are used as proper nouns. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 2 '15 at 12:40
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    $\begingroup$ This puzzle becomes significantly more interesting if you strike out the rule "you can use words more than once". $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 2 '15 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ I agree - the puzzle has certainly become a "buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo" sort of puzzle, hasn't it? What's the policy on changing requirements of a puzzle after receiving responses? Is it kosher? $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jun 2 '15 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ FYI, based on the word list linked to in Mauris's ridiculous answer, the highest possible score is 37. That's the highest score for which that many unique words exist. However, there are numerous mismatches between that list and the official dictionary so all 39 might not be valid. Even if they were, it's not likely that you can construct a meaningful sentence from them. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jun 3 '15 at 15:02
11
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n = 34

Extemporizing demythologizers demythologized overhomogenized, jackhammering azidothymidines; puzzlingly schizophrenic jazzmen diphthongizing hyperexcitement drizzlingly overemphasized jabberwocky jazziness, hypothesizing philosophizing jazzbos; quizzer psychochemicals hyperpolarized, contextualizing physicochemical jazzman phosphatization; remythologizing chazzanim blackjacking huzzahing quizzes psychologized nephrectomizing, zizzed pzazz.

I finally did this. The sentence is divided into four parts, and is quite... musical.

  1. Ones who make ideas less mythical (and improvise along the way) did so to drugs used to treat AIDS that are overly uniform and operate jackhammers.
  2. Jazz musicians confusingly diagnosed with schizophrenia who turn extreme excitement into a single syllable overemphasized (with light rain) characteristics of jazz with meaningless lyrics. Doing this, they expected to make jazz devotees act more serious.
  3. Now, chemicals affecting behavior belonging to ones who write tests increased in potential difference. This added context to the physical and chemical treatment of jazz musicians using phosphates.
  4. Leaders in prayer during Jewish services who create myths again and strike cheering quizzes with blackjacks psychologically interpreted the quality of excitement or attractiveness that surgically removes kidneys and makes buzzing sounds.

I used SOWPODS as my wordlist, with all words cross-checked against Hasbro's site. This is the longest possible sentence I could find.

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12
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n = 10

They couldn't teach what they should have taught; imagine trying!

For some reason, they were unable to teach the things they should have taught; imagine trying to if you had been in that situation!

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    $\begingroup$ With the new rule in place, this is the closest to an acceptable answer - I think if you replace the first 'they' with 'people', it'll work. :) $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jun 3 '15 at 14:32
12
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n = 41

Methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify quizzify, quizzify methoxybenzenes.

To construct this sentence:

  • Take "methoxybenzenes" as the subject.
  • Add a relative clause to it -- these methoxybenzenes are quizzified by other methoxybenzenes; they are "methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes quizzify".

  • Repeatedly do the same to the innermost subject: the quizzifying methoxybenzenes, are, in their turn, quizzified by yet other methoxybenzenes; thus the original ones can be described as "methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes methoxybenzenes quizzify quizzify", etc.

(Compare this process to: "cars" -> "cars dogs chase" -> "cars dogs people hate chase" -> etc.)

The process is repeated 19 times to "pump" a 39-word subject. The last two words are the verb phrase.

Methoxybenzenes is not a proper noun: they are methyl ethers formed from phenyl, there are many of them on the planet, and there's no trademark or copyright that owns them. Sure, they can't quizzify each other, as they have no agency, but if colourless green ideas can sleep furiously, then I can get away with that much.

n > 41?

Here are the remaining higher-scoring words in SOWPODS:

  • 43: "Quizzicalities, quizzically, zyzzyva." No verbs.
  • 44: "Quizzicality, zyzzyvas." No verbs.
  • 45: "Bezzazz, pazzazz, pizzazz, quizzifying." A gerund, but no conjugated verbs.
  • 46: Only one word, "quizzification."
  • 47: "Bezzazzes, pazzazzes, pizzazzes, quizzifications." I think these are all plural nouns, but maybe you can pizzazz something, and the first three are verbs? Either way, they wouldn't be a verb form you can use with "quizzifications."
  • 48 and up don't have verbs either.

So I suppose you can't really do better than this. If you prefer the mental image of palm trees quizzifying each other, you could swap out "methoxybenzenes" for "chiquichiquis", though.

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    $\begingroup$ Dear god almighty... $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jun 2 '15 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ Note that you can't actually make "quizzify" for 41 points with a standard Scrabble set, though - since there's only one Z in a standard Scrabble set, you'd have to use a blank making the score 31. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Jun 2 '15 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, that's another fair point I considered, but the question didn't say anything about letter distribution. (I wonder why "pizzazz" is in SOWPODS if you can't ever play it, though; there is one Z and two blanks in the game.) $\endgroup$ – Lynn Jun 2 '15 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ Well, there's no sense in arguing this: whether a structure is grammatically valid, or if it's something people would ever say, is a completely different question. The cars people I hate drive, to me, feels "readable but pushing it", but to you (or the next person you ask) it might just tip the scale to "this isn't even English". Replacing I by some longer noun phrase can even completely change your perception (Gibson & Thomas 1997 p.12). $\endgroup$ – Lynn Jun 3 '15 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ I don't really know what you expect, though: as some other user on here pointed out, there aren't exactly any syntactic expletives worth more than, like, 10 points in Scrabble. Obviously, whatever long sentences you come up with past that point are going to feel extremely awkward. However, feel free to take this n=41 example with a grain of salt -- it was meant as a bit of a joke, and I won't force you to vote for it! $\endgroup$ – Lynn Jun 3 '15 at 20:08
10
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n=19

A more natural attempt:

Occasionally, blindfolded conjuring wizards quietly, unnoticeably mimicked fictionalised, awe-striking witchery; unfortunately, extensive unbeneficial avariciousness cynically rehabilitated inharmonical, vindictive suffocation.

Now and then, these wizards would get together and practice their magic skills to copy cool spells they saw on TV (but they did so in secret). However, they got greedy, and wanted to steal each other's tricks too much, which sadly made them start fighting and trying to choke each other to death. Or something.

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  • $\begingroup$ That double dash really seems like the beginning of a new sentence rather than a continuation of the same thought. $\endgroup$ – Deacon Jun 3 '15 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps a semi-colon or parentheses could work instead of the double-dash. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jun 3 '15 at 21:50
6
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n = 15 (composed of only 3 words)

Humongous wiz buffalo humongous wiz buffalo buffalo, buffalo humongous wiz buffalo humongous wiz buffalo buffalo.

Huge magical bison whom other huge magical bison bully, themselves bully huge magical bison other huge magical bison bully.

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    $\begingroup$ You're using at least three proper nouns there. $\endgroup$ – starsplusplus Jun 1 '15 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @starsplusplus true edited $\endgroup$ – George Reith Jun 1 '15 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ Also, each buffalo is worth 15, not 5. The example sentence provided by the puzzle creator uses $n=6$. You should try to do at least as well as that. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 1 '15 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ Buffalo is worth 15 points, so you need to make a 15-word sentence. $\endgroup$ – starsplusplus Jun 1 '15 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ According to any Scrabble dictionary I can find online, "wiz" is a noun meaning "somebody who is really good at something", not an adjective meaning "magical". $\endgroup$ – VictorHenry Jun 2 '15 at 8:52
5
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10: Six simple women wander toward various very sharp brown fish.

Fairly obvious. The Sharptail Mola is rare enough and odd enough that it would clearly attract attention from passing random women.

11: Every famous fresh child knew waves work because northern summers heave.

As a new child, for which the world exists solely for my amusement, I did indeed think that waves were only present in the height of the summer. Of course now I know they wave all the time, but as a child of the north I would only visit the beach during the hot, heavy summer. Correlation != causation.

18: Troglodytic triumphing trichomonal trippingly triptych trolleybusses' twitching twinjets truncheoning trihybrid trenchermen tribespeople tremendously trapshooting transplantable thatchy torchwood toxicants.

Be it observed by all: The toxic transplantable thatchy torchwood plants, an everpresent problem in our fair community, are being tremendously trapshot by our fellow trihybrid tribespeople, formerly occupied in trenching operations. However they, in turn, are having to fend off the brutal truncheoning that our severely out of date, three color, three panel lifelike painted trolleys are dishing out due to their malfunctioning jet engines.

The trolley's are winning, and we may well be doomed to thatchy toxic death.

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  • $\begingroup$ The second one is a little sloppy grammatically, though. You've changed tense between "knew" and "work". $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 4 '15 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald Yep! $\endgroup$ – Adam Davis Jun 4 '15 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ I can really relate to the last one. $\endgroup$ – George Reith Jun 5 '15 at 12:18
4
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n=17

Buffaloes, quoting buffaloes, zoomed accurately; buffaloes, promenading buffaloes, zoomed; buffaloes, huffing, zoomed accurately; buffaloes, reworking buffaloes, zoomed.

Buffaloes moved swiftly and accurately while borrowing sayings from other buffaloes or while blowing air loudly, but they only moved swiftly while displaying or updating other buffaloes.


Also a nice example with n=10:

Police police, police police police police, police police; permit pardons.

Those who police the police (the police police), who are in turn policed by those who police the police police (the police police police), police the police; allow pardons to be granted!

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    $\begingroup$ I feel like that first one is really abusing semicolon outside of the spirit of the puzzle. :( $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 2 '15 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald Find me a preposition or conjunction with a high Scrabble score and I'll change it! That's a hard thing to do. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 2 '15 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this will help? yougoscrabble.com/words-with-17-points $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 2 '15 at 11:11
3
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I don't think I'm gonna manage 15 to beat George, but I will attempt to get there progressively:

1: I
   1
   ( - Who is it?
     - I )

[See this]


2: Or on.
   11 11
   (It could go under the table. Or on.)

3: Do go, son.
   21 21  111
   ( - I was thinking I shouldn't go Dad.
     - No. Do go, son.)

4: Pa, ma isn't near.
   31  31 111-1 1111
   (Father, mother is not close by)

5: Hi, pa's dog did dig
   41  31-1 212 212 212
   (Hello, my father's dog previously made holes)
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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think "or on" counts as a sentence, grammatically - "It is" certainly does, though. $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jun 3 '15 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ So does "Is it?" $\endgroup$ – Phil M Jones Sep 10 '15 at 9:03
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    $\begingroup$ I sort of forgot about this answer. 😳I fully intended to add more sentences. $\endgroup$ – James Webster Sep 10 '15 at 9:04

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