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A spiral word (Posted on 2016-08-04) Difficulty: 4 of 5
Coil the word REMEDIABLENESSES as a spiral into a 4x4 grid (see below) and surprisingly you get a crossword square with 8 valid words: 4 across and 4 down (+ARMS & BEE read diagonally).

ABLE
IREN
DEME
SESS

Try to find another example(s), forget the diagonals.

No Solution Yet Submitted by Ady TZIDON    
Rating: 3.5000 (2 votes)

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Question Questionable words | Comment 1 of 7

In the example 4x4 word grid there are two "words" that are questionable as valid.
IREN is recognized as a proper name of foreign spelling. There may be individuals in English-language speaking countries with such a given name, yet it does not qualify it to be English. There is an assumption that the words should be of the English language.
There is an entry in the unabridged Century Dictionary for the word, but it is noted as obsolete as it is a Middle English form of the word IRON. I would expect that valid words should be those words of the modern English language to include words of Middle English and Old English that have continued to be used in modern English.

LEMs would the plural of the acronym Lunar Excursion Module. Acronyms may be considered words, yet almost any set of four letters could qualify. Acronyms are generally categorized as a form of abbreviation, though there are a few words that are recognized fully as words {awol, radar, laser, et. al}. It would be expected that abbreviations, such as LEM would not be an acceptable exception. 

The question, then -- what is the criteria to be accepted as a word for this given problem? 
Should uncommon dialectal English be included?  Again, to address the word LEM, there are three different dialectal words:
(1) Lem is a floor of boards near the roof used as a type
of loft or storage shelf;
(2) Lem is also a verb used colloquially in the Shetland Islands and Orkney meaning to prepare wool by drawing or spinning;
(3) Lem also is a former dialectal spelling of the words, i.e., noun and verb, for limb.


Most English word lists will exclude dialectal words. Very few, even unabridged lists will include them. Even the very expansive Moby Words II. It would be painstaking to filter all possible four-letter words (and 16-letter words) as there is no known digital version that includes the majority of them.

Though asked to forget about the diagonal formed words, I would point out that two more words read left-to-right on the diagonals are DE and SE. Both are English prepositions found in some modern English dictionaries. In dialectal English, the noun IE, pluralized as IES, is a Scottish dialectal word for EA, a water channel [The English Dialect Dictionary]. Many dialectal words are not included in standard English dictionaries, to include those that are identified as unabridged. Their inclusion would impractically expand a dictionary into several volumes.

Edited on August 5, 2016, 5:17 am
  Posted by Dej Mar on 2016-08-04 16:29:55

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