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This recent puzzle I created was well-received, so here's another one like it, except this time a bit larger and using homophones.

Create a word search with the following conditions:

  1. Use the fifteen words below. They can be spelled up, down, left, right, or any of the 4 diagonal directions.

THEYRE
THEIR
THERE

TACKED
TACT

TEA
TEE

TAIL
TALE

TAUGHT
TAUT

TARE
TEAR

TEEM
TEAM

  1. The size of the word search must be 7 rows by 7 columns. (Bottom right square not used.)

  2. The number of words that pass through each square must fit this pattern:

enter image description here

  1. The accepted answer will clearly and fully explain the flow of logic used from start to finish.
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  • $\begingroup$ How does the bottom-left square have four words passing through it? There's only 3 directions for words to go. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Jun 12 '15 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. Yes, that's quite a hint in itself $\endgroup$ – JLee Jun 12 '15 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ Are you positive that each word only shows up once in the puzzle? $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jun 12 '15 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @BaileyM Logically, tea must appear at least twice, right? Tee could appear twice. I don't think there are any others though. $\endgroup$ – JLee Jun 12 '15 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Ahh, the question I should be asking is: Are tea's letters counted in both tear and team, or just in one of them? $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jun 12 '15 at 19:58
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About 6% of an answer.

(I've worked out the letters in 3 squares so far. Maybe someone will find this useful while I work out the remaining 94%)

The bottom left corner is marked 4, so one of the words that use that corner must completely overlap another that also uses that corner. Only the beginning of words contain other words so that corner must contain T.

Words that could overlap are:

TEA - TEAM, TEAR
TEE - TEEM

Overlapping words must extend diagonally from the corner. So square 1,1 is T and square 2,2 is E. The centre square is either M or R. The top right corner must have a diagonal word that starts or ends there (it shares 3 words) so that word must either share the M/R centre square or be 3 letters. There are a number of possibilities for that word but they all require square 6,6 to be E.

The letter frequencies reveal some useful information:

T 18
E 15
A 10
R 5
H 4
I 2
C 2
L 2
U 2
M 2
K 1
D 1
G 1
Y 1

K, D, G and Y appear only once so words must be placed so that these letters don't fall on a square numbered more than 1. Similarly I, C, U, L and M appear twice each, so care must be taken not to place them on squares numbered more than 2.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I have a few more ideas based on the constraints placed on TAUGHT, TACKED and THEYRE but I haven't work out(yet) how these might reveal any more certainty. I've been holding off on reading your original puzzle hoping I can solve this without any extra clues. $\endgroup$ – Bob Jun 12 '15 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think the original puzzle will give you any clues. There might be times where you need to "trial and error" a bit. I am not 100% sure that it can be 100% logically deduced, but it seems that every time I say that on this site, then someone quickly proves me wrong and shows that it actually can. $\endgroup$ – JLee Jun 12 '15 at 13:02

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