Largest word-square puzzle [duplicate]

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What is the largest word-square puzzle known? Can you make a bigger one? Obviously, you must use more than four words, six or seven letter words would be really good.

Using computers allowed, not recommended unless necessary.

marked as duplicate by f'', Gamow, Beastly Gerbil, Engineer Toast, Deusovi♦Jun 22 '16 at 20:33

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• We've had puzzles going all the way up to eight-words, which you can find in the "Linked" section. Given Mr. Toast's fondness for the puzzles, I suspect he'd have posted a nine-worder if such a puzzle existed. The absence of such a puzzle on puzzling.SE therefore suggests that no nine-word puzzle exists. Also note that the number of words in the English language drops off precipitously above 7 characters. – COTO Jul 14 '15 at 10:24
• Look on wikipedia for "word square". Depending on what you deem an acceptable word, the answer is either 9 or 10. – Engineer Toast Jul 14 '15 at 10:24
• It feels like we should coin a term for these. Four word puzzle seems a bit silly when they don't have only 4 words. – Bob Jul 14 '15 at 10:32
• @Bob: Like Engineer Toast said, "Word Square" seems to be the accepted name for these. – Curmudgeon Jul 14 '15 at 11:26
• @EngineerToast: All of your word square puzzles are symmetric. The more general word squares are basically just square crosswords. – COTO Jul 14 '15 at 16:42

3 Answers

I have managed to construct a word square which has 10 different words in it.

CLUES:
muffled cries
butter substitute
close
a special dress
a melodious poem
genus of olive trees
a hairy mammal
to absorb or adsorb
flat piece of stone (diagonal top left to bottom right)
commands a horse (diagonal bottom left to top right)

S O B S
O L E O
N E A R
G A R B

• Is this what was meant by a word square? I thought it was supposed to be 4 words written horizontally and the same 4 words written vertically. No? – JLee Jul 14 '15 at 14:44
• @JLee: Word squares that form different words across and down are known as "double word squares" - from the Wiki page of word square. It's a variant of the traditional word square that you are talking about. – CodeNewbie Jul 14 '15 at 15:02
• ok. makes sense. thx – JLee Jul 14 '15 at 15:05
• @CodeNewbie does Garb/Sorb work with the rules of the OP? – Nyk 232 Jul 14 '15 at 16:34
• @CodeNewbie I mean, doesn't it have to be the same words ordered by rows or columns, such that row 2 and column 2 form the same word? – Nyk 232 Jul 14 '15 at 16:35

According to this Wikipedia article the biggest perfect word-square in modern English is 9-square (it says there are multiple, but only one shown as an example):

A C H A L A S I A
C R E N I D E N S
H E X A N D R I C
A N A B O L I T E
L I N O L E N I N
A D D L E H E A D
S E R I N E T T E
I N I T I A T O R
A S C E N D E R S

Also it says

A 10-square is naturally much harder to find, and a "perfect" 10-square has been hunted since 1897.

Good luck! :)

• Does that mean there exists no 10-word square, or only that none have been found yet? – ghosts_in_the_code Jun 22 '16 at 13:35
• I'm not sure, it says that it has been hunted since 1897, so whether the article hasn't been updated, or people are not interested anymore :) Because I think a simple script would find that square if it exists :) – Gintas K Jun 22 '16 at 13:36

I also found a word square with 10 different words:

S L A P
L I V E
T I M E
G U N S

Each horizontal word can be read like this, and reverse. Also the last vertical line, with

pees and seep.

• I don't think this qualifies as a word square, because the verticals don't make words (except for the last column). – GentlePurpleRain Jul 14 '15 at 14:26