Alphabest — a heterogrammatical word grid challenge

What is a heterogram? It's a word that contains all different letters, like productively and absurdity and formidably. How many heterograms of 9 or more letters can you find?

Our friend, the Honest Poet, told us of two simultaneous words—blacksmith and gunpowdery—whose 20 different letters leave just six unused! These two words are also called isograms, because both words are the same length. Then he added his own pair, lumberjack and downshift, using up 19 letters. Impressive. Our sample below uses all 26 letters by interweaving 7 words.

Your challenge with Alphabest is to form a crossword puzzle arrangement that uses all 26 letters exactly once. The 7 words in the sample above, solved by Eric Bare, fit into a 9x9 grid, a total of 81 squares. Can you do better with a smaller grid? Send us your own solutions and win a prize. And don't worry, they're uncopyrightable. (See? "Uncopyrightable" is also a heterogram.)

If you have a Scrabble® set, just use one of each of the 26 different letters. Or use a set of Mini-Mouth® (made by ThinkFun) that contains exactly one alphabet. Then you can lay out your project and move letters around till you find the best result. No abbreviations, no proper nouns or foreign words are allowed. Check a standard dictionary, printed or online, to verify spellings. Have fun puzzling with matchless words!

Send your solutions to:   Alphabest Answers

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