"Planet Packing" in the May 2001 Word Ways demonstrated that it is possible to use the 26-letter string MNVESARCPJLUPITHOURYANUSER to spell out each of the nine planet names in order. (Many other 26-letter strings are possible, but no 25-letter one has been found.) This article shows how to pack the planets in two dimensions. The loosest pack is, of course, the standard crossword. In the November 1998 Kickshaws, Jim Puder packed the planets (plus SUN, MOON , and UNIVERSE) into a 9x12 rectangle. The planets alone can be contained in a 10x10 square, given below at the left, but one of smaller area appears impossible.
Eckler, A. Ross
"Planet Packing in Two Dimensions,"
Word Ways: Vol. 37
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol37/iss2/13