A blog for fans of Bananagrams, word games, puzzles, and amazing things

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hypothetical huge word grid

I heard about Monopoly City Streets, the online Monopoly game which uses a world map as the game board and streets all over the world for properties. It made me wonder: What would a Bananagrams grid that incorporated all the words in the dictionary look like?

If we use the Scrabble Tournament Word List (TWL), we get
101 + 1015 + 4030 + 8938 + 15788 + 24029 + 29766 + 29150 + 22326 + 16165 + 11417 + 7750 + 5059 + 3157 = 178,691 words. (This list neglects words longer than 15 letters, since they can't fit on a Scrabble board.) If we assume that every word intersects with two other words, this will require about 1,227,094 letters.

Each Bananagrams tile is a square, 1.9 cm (0.75 inches) on a side, so with an average grid density of 0.63 (my rough estimate), a Bananagrams grid with all the allowed words would be a square, about 1400 letters on a side, measuring 27 meters (87 feet) each way. That would cover an area a bit larger than one-and-a-half full-sized basketball courts.

How long would it take to assemble? If you suppose that a solution has been computer-generated and turned into instructions, someone who could place 10 words per minute, working 12 hours per day, would require 25 days to put it together.