Logologists have been aware of word strings -- overlapping lists of words such as sat, ate, tea, ear, are -- since at least the time of the great English puzzle-constructor Henry Ernest Dudeney. However, no one seems to have realized that word strings can be diagrammed in a network, much as has been done for word ladders (see, for example, the May and August 1973 issue of Word Ways, or Chapter 4 of my book "Word Recreations," published by Dover in 1979).
Eckler, A. Ross
"A Word String Network,"
Word Ways: Vol. 24
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol24/iss2/5