4
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Let's define a Complete Scrabble Block as an arrangement of Scrabble tiles such that:

  1. The four edges are all flat.
  2. All words are words.
  3. There is an order in which the tiles can be played in a game of Scrabble to reach the result.

For example:

CAB   CAB   CAB   CAB   CAB
        E   O E   O E   ODE
        T   P T   POT   POT

What is the largest Complete Scrabble Block that can be created? Provide an example final grid and an order of play:

CAB   111
ODE   352
POT   342

Notes:
- You don't need to stick to the Scrabble tile counts if you don't want to (though it would be cool if you did).
- You don't need to stick to the Scrabble dictionary if you don't want to (though it would be cool if you did).
- The intermediary steps do not need to be flat-edged.
- The final solution need not be a square.
- I don't know the answer, so if nobody can definitively prove correctness in their answer after a week, I'll accept the answer that provides the largest area (w*h). In the event of a tie, I'll choose the answer based on Scrabble score. In the event that this is still a tie, I'll choose the one that was put up first.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is there a specific dictionary you would like followed? The Scrabble dictionary tends to not have, shall we say, "scientific" words, like animal species and bacteria-related words. $\endgroup$ – dpwilson Sep 15 '15 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ I think it would be neat if you followed the Scrabble dictionary, but I'm okay with answers that don't. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Sep 15 '15 at 14:21
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Here's what I would consider a "fuzzy" answer, since some of the words used in it have questionably acceptable definitions. Nevertheless, I think it's a good example, and I've included links to prove that each word has at least one source that claims it is acceptable.

Wikipedia has several examples on its word square page. Here is an 8x8 example:

L A T E R A L S
A X O N E M A L
T O E P L A T E
E N P L A N E D
R E L A N D E D
A M A N D I N E
L A T E E N E R
S L E D D E R S

Unfortunately Wikipedia doesn't give steps for actually playing this out in Scrabble, so I did that myself. Note that this is not possible in Scrabble with the number of available tiles, and many of the words are not in the official Scrabble dictionary. Anyway, here are the steps, with a special thanks to Gordon K for the formatting idea:

8x8 word square

And here are the justifications for why these are all words:

1. Laterals: In the Scrabble dictionary.
2. Ditto.
3. Sledders: In the Scrabble dictionary.
4. Ditto.
5. Axonemal, Ax, To, En, Re, Am, La: All in the Scrabble dictionary.
6. Ditto.
7. Amandine: In the Scrabble dictionary.
8. Ditto.
9. Lateener, Ate: Both in the Scrabble dictionary.
Ned: Scottish derogatory term for hooligans. (source: Wikipedia)
Ded: British term for a Russian soldier who has served two or three years. (Source: dictionary.com)
Ner: Informal interjection, taken from "neener". (Source: Wiktionary)
10. Ditto.
11. Enplaned: In the Scrabble dictionary.
12. Ditto.
13. Relanded, Plate: In the Scrabble dictionary.
Anded: Past tense of "and". (Source: yourdictionary.com). I really, really don't like that definition or website, but I use the term all the time when referring to digital logic functions. (In those cases it may be more appropriately written ANDed, and thus this word gives me the most hesitation with this answer.)
14. Toeplate: In the Scrabble dictionary.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with your complaints about anded. It's a word that I've used ("I took these two variables and just anded them together."), but it also makes me cringe a little on the inside and strikes me as incredibly informal / hand-wavy. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Sep 15 '15 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ But for that matter, you could've just left out the e in anded to leave late and ner until you fill in the full relanded word. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Sep 15 '15 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ You've got the most letters in your answer, so you get the check. I'm okay with the slang usage. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Sep 21 '15 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Note that your method for playing this out in Scrabble is invalid, because in Scrabble you only have 7 tiles at a time. You can't begin by laying down LATERALS because it is 8 letters, and you would never have 8 letters to put down at once. (It's easily solved by putting down LATE and then adding -RALS, or just LATERAL and then -S, but I thought it to be worth noting.) $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 24 '15 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ -1. True, this is a word square. But the Scrabble set does not have the tiles for it (as you admit) so it doesn't answer the question. $\endgroup$ – Rosie F Jul 29 '16 at 11:45
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How about this one (taken from here) which is also a word square:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ How did you generate those images? Did you do them by hand, or is there an application to make it look that pretty? (+1 by the way, really impressive!) $\endgroup$ – dpwilson Sep 15 '15 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @dpwilson I just used a spreadsheet, printed to PDF and converted to gif. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Sep 15 '15 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ I really like this answer, but am kinda sad it's the same words across and down. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Sep 21 '15 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ +1 because you ensured that 1) Scrabble has the tiles to make the square 2) it is actually possible to reach the square in Scrabble, all intermediate positions being legal. $\endgroup$ – Rosie F Jul 29 '16 at 11:44
2
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Here's a start (taken from this page) . I'm sure someone can expand on it or find something larger.

G L A S S E S 1 A 3 7 6 8 5
R E L A P S E 1 A 3 7 6 8 5
I M I T A T E 1 2 2 2 2 2 2
S M E A R E D 1 A 3 9 6 8 5
T A N N E R Y 1 4 3 4 4 4 4

A is used instead of the number 10, to keep things to a single digit.

** It wasn't clear from the question whether all of the words had to be acceptable Scrabble™ words, but I should note that SATAN is not in the official Scrabble™ Dictionary, and thus this answer might be invalidated (unless someone can some up with a clever way of modifying it to remove the offending word.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, he did say "all words are words" and not that all words are Scrabble words, so maybe you should be fine. But, then again, he said "There is an order in which the tiles can be played in a game of Scrabble to reach the result", which would imply that satan cannot be used.. $\endgroup$ – Ben Frankel Sep 14 '15 at 21:59

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