20221205, 09:26  #1 
Jul 2015
2B_{16} Posts 
Ponder This  December 2022

20221205, 21:05  #2 
Jan 2017
2·3·29 Posts 
The problem statement is missing a condition that all the letters in the words must be from the given 12.

20221206, 13:49  #3 
Oct 2017
2·3·5^{2} Posts 
DEC 2022
„Find a box that has only a single twoword solution.“
Does that mean: „ There is no other two word solution“ or „There are no other solutions at all, for example such with 5 words with three letters or so“ 
20221207, 15:57  #4 
Jun 2016
20_{16} Posts 
I also wasn't sure if it was supposed to mean "there is exactly one solution, and it is exactly two words long" or "the number of twoword solutions is one, but there may be solutions of other lengths".
I don't see a minimum word length in the puzzle description either (but the NYT puzzle seems to have minimum length 3). All the single letters are considered valid words in the provided dictionary, so I think technically you could just do the same letter repeated a bunch of times. For example, I think ['u', 'u', 'u', ... 'unclot', 'throwback'] would technically be valid for the example given. (In my reading of the rules that doesn't violate the rule about consecutive letters coming from different sides, because they are separate words, and the first letter of one word is the same as the previous word). 
20221207, 16:03  #5 
Jun 2016
2^{5} Posts 
Given the number of 2 letter words in the dictionary which would allow you to create an unlimited number of solutions of the form 'ab', 'ba', 'ab' ... I'm leaning towards it being necessary to interpret the question as "there is only one 2word solution, but there may be solutions of other lengths".

20221207, 16:49  #6  
1976 Toyota Corona years forever!
"Wayne"
Nov 2006
Saskatchewan, Canada
14EB_{16} Posts 
Quote:
4. All the letters in the square must appear in the sequence of words in the solution. 

20221207, 17:45  #7 
Oct 2017
2·3·5^{2} Posts 
December Ponder This
But we have to know, if the 3letterrule of the NYT is valid for us, because we could find a box with exactly one twoword solution, if a word must have at least 3 letters, but more such solutions, if words with two letters are allowed.
Formulated otherwise: if we find a box with two twoword solutions, the first one with two words à 8 letters and the second one with one 2letter word and one 12 letter word: is that a solution? 
20221207, 18:02  #8 
Jun 2016
2^{5} Posts 
I just meant that you could always pad your solution with extra 2 letter words e.g. ['unclot', 'throwback'] couldn't be the only solution of any length, because 'un' and 'nu' are both in the dictionary, so you could do ['un', 'nu', 'unclot', 'throwback']. There are so many 2 letter words in that dictionary that my gut instinct is that it would be extremely hard to find a solution with the interpretation that there can be no solutions other than the single, length 2 solution.

20221207, 18:10  #9 
Jun 2016
2^{5} Posts 
The fact that the question asks you to "Find a box that has only a single twoword solution." with no comma between "single" and "twoword" also suggests to me that it's reasonable to take it as meaning there can be multiple solutions, but only one that is 2 words long.

20221207, 19:27  #10  
Oct 2017
226_{8} Posts 
Quote:


20221216, 01:03  #11 
Jul 2021
2^{4}×3 Posts 
Somewhat similar to the 'Song In A Box' puzzle I created

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