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No. of Players: 2
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To use up every letter of the alphabet by forming words in a grid.

How to play

Both players write the 26 letters of the alphabet on their own piece of paper. They then create a grid of blank squares of a predetermined size – say 7×7 – on a third piece of paper. The players take turns writing words into the grid in an interlocking fashion. After each turn they cross out the letters that they just placed into the grid on their own piece of paper. But they cannot cross out letters that existed in the grid prior to their turn. The first player to cross out all 26 letters on their paper is the winner, or the player that has the fewest letters left is the winner if it is no longer possible to form words in the grid.

This word game is similar to Crosswords For Two.

Up for a challenge?

Try the World's First Crossword Puzzle from 1913


Allen is first and writes QUALITY to get rid of Q, one of the harder letters to use (like X and Z). Britney must then write a word that will interlock with Allen’s word. She chooses ANXIOUS, which allows her to get rid of all the letters in that word except I since it was already in the grid. And so on.

7 by 7 grid with words QUALITY and ANXIOUS; 26 letters of the alphabet listed under the names Allen and Britney

Did you know?

Certified by Guinness World Records, the largest crossword puzzle (in physical size) in the US measures 7 feet by 7 feet and can be hung on a wall or conveniently folded for solving on your lap or kitchen table. It comes with a 100 page book packed with 28,000 clues for over 91,000 squares. If you get stuck, you can always check the 4 foot by 4 foot answer grid.

wall-size crossword puzzle with man standing next to it thinking

However, a still larger puzzle was published by Nikoli Co., Ltd on June 30, 2016. It measures nearly 130 square feet, has 244,971 blank squares, and 66,666 clues. It was created by 20 different crossword puzzle makers to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Japanese company.

man standing with back against stack of crossword puzzles

If these two puzzles are still too small for you, there is yet a bigger one according to Guinness. Verified on June 3, 2014, it took Hristo A. Yonitsov of Sofia, Bulgaria 14 years to write the 93,769 clues and craft the 984 foot long puzzle. The grid is spread over a hefty 1,000 sheets of paper and remains unpublished at this time.

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