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Phrase Squares

No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To fill a square grid with letters from a phrase to form interlocking words.

How to play

This game is a variation of Word Squares. Players challenge themselves and others to arrange the letters of a 25-letter phrase into a five-by-five word square. One player provides the other players with a phrase and the first player to successfully create a word square from its letters is the winner. This game can also be played in reverse: a completed word square is provided to the other players who must then arrange its letters into a phrase. A hint can also be provided for the phrase. To ease gameplay even further, the word square need not form words that read the same horizontally and vertically. Shorter phrases (e.g., 16-letter) with smaller word squares (e.g., four-by-four) can also be used.


Andrew and Bianca challenge each other to create a five-by-five word square with letters that can also be re-arranged to form a 25-letter phrase. Below are the phrases and squares they created.


Engineering tortuous tenets.

5 by 5 word square example1


Thirteen bees burden Sam Rear.

5 by 5 word square example2

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