Word Ways

Article Title

Synonym Squares


Tom Pulliam


Synonym Squares is a solitaire variation of the well-known word game of Guggenheim or Categories. From the Second or Third Edition of the Merriam-Webster New International Dictionary, select a word fully spelled out in boldface type (nothing inferred) which shall be known as the base-word. Collect from the same dictionary all possible synonyms of the base-word that specify it in the definition, or specific examples of the same class as the base-word. From these accumulated synonyms, extract those having the same letter-length as the base-word. Arrange examples of your selection one above another, vertically, in such a manner that a "square" is formed, with the base-word reading downwards at some letter-position within that square (see example at the right). Try to achieve this with the longest possible base-words.