Word Ways

Article Title

Packing Words


Leonard Gordon


What is the minimum rectangular area in which one can pack precisely N words of length L? All must be joined in criss-cross fashion, and no words of other lengths are allowed. The main point is to find the packing patterns; finding real (and, if possible, common) words to fit those patterns adds interest, converting a purely mathematical problem to a logological one as well. The patterns derived here may be used in conventional crossword or other puzzles.