In "Bottom Up!" in the February 1993 Word Ways, Eric Albert asserts that searching for word squares with or without a computer is faster if the search is made bottom-up. In "Which Way to the Square?" in the May Word Ways, Richard Sabey contradicts this assertion; he finds that for 8x8 squares from the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) top-down is considerably faster.
"Designing a List for Word Squares,"
Word Ways: Vol. 29
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol29/iss3/4