Word Squares Revisited

January 13, 2011 at 8:34 am Leave a comment

On December 22, I posed the following puzzle in the Square Deal post:

Create a 4 × 4 grid composed of common English words (you can use the list of official Scrabble four‑letter words as a reference) such that the sum of the point values of the 16 letters is as high as possible.

In that post, I mentioned that I had created a grid worth 62 points, and many readers have asked about it. Here it is:

Z I Z Z
I D E A
Z E S T
Z A T I

 

All of the words are acceptable when playing Scrabble. While IDEA and ZEST are very common, the other two are not:

  • ZIZZ = a nap
  • ZATI = a species of macaque

I am certain that a better solution exists, but I have neither the time nor the energy to search for it. Anyone out there want to write a computer program to solve it?

** UPDATE (1/14/11): Check out the comments section from the previous post. Veky Edgar wrote a computer program and found the maximum possible score (92 points), and Scandinavian manually created a grid worth 85 points.

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About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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