Jim Puder


With the 2004 election looming, perhaps it is time to take belated noticed of the fact that we presently live in a rare presidential square-set era. By a "square set," I mean a set of things, the letters of whose names add up to some square number. Such sets are chiefly interesting for the fact that they evenly fill square grids; when they do so in such a way that all of their words remain intact and unbent, they are said to "pack" their grids. There are two broad categories of square sets, number-name square sets and non-numerical square sets. To the latter category, the familiar rosters of the U.S. presidents and the U.S. states currently contribute a total of five significant chronology-based square sets.