Seeking sources of word search puzzles that go in any direction
January 11, 2019 7:00 PM   Subscribe

So I am fond of word search puzzles where the words are not in a straight line (i.e., the letters can fall in sequence at right angles or diagonals, changing direction any number of times). I'm looking for further sources of them, and any suggestions of search terms to find them.

I have recently unearthed a copy of a Bent & Wiggly puzzle magazine that I had from years back, and I did a puzzle today and it reminded me of how much I like to do these. It's hard to find a non-standard word search puzzle book in the wild, I find.

So okay, I've got the Bent & Wiggly brand nailed down. I know where to find their stuff, and I'll try downloading some print-your-own ones. It looks like they no longer offer subscriptions.

Also found the Squiggle Search app and the "Word Search ." app on ios, and I tried a couple and some letters are reused and I prefer letters to only be used once.

I also found the term Zig Zag Puzzles. Some of these don't allow diagonals in the word-path, but I prefer the kinds where they are included.

But my favorite kind is something that has eluded me for many many years: the ones where there are no unused letters, and each letter is used exactly once. That is, when you circle all the puzzle words, you have filled in the entire grid. I haven't found any like that since I can't remember. They are quite challenging, as I recall. I may have only seen them in a very old Games magazine, but I'm not sure. Any idea how to word this in a search query?

So basically what I want is:
- Diagonals allowed
- No re-use of letters (a given letter can only be used in one word)
- Holy grail: each letter used exactly once and the whole grid filled in

I am looking for:
- any tips on search terms
- book/magazine names
- apps for ios or windows
- free sites
- generators that support this type of puzzle
- anything else that you think might be helpful

And for reference: I already subscribe to Games World of Puzzles magazine.
posted by cats are weird to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There is an iOS app called Monkey Wrench which uses a hexagonal grid and only gives clues about the words or phrases (though I think there are different hardness options, the easiest of which may be just showing the phrases.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:52 PM on January 11

How about Babble?
posted by Andrhia at 7:24 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

Babble is not necessarily like a traditional word puzzle but it scratches much of the same itch. I've been playing daily for almost 7 years, I think I learned of it on Mefi originally.
posted by lydhre at 11:17 AM on January 12

Not quite what you asked for, but do you already own the game Boggle? I like the one with a 5x5 grid. (There appear to be ways to play it online as well, but I haven't tried them.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 2:49 PM on January 12

You might like the iOS app Spelltower. You can make words in any direction (including non-linear) and letters are used only once (they disappear after you use them). The goal is to use all the letters, so you end up with an empty screen...kind of the opposite of your holy grail?
posted by a moisturizing whip at 5:51 AM on January 14

Again, not quite what you are looking for, but the magazine Puzzler has a puzzle called Kross Filler. In this, you have to put the listed words into a grid. They can go in any direction but only in straight lines (including diagonals). Every space in the grid has to be used. So it's not a word search but a word filler, but otherwise not too far off your description. There's also a similar one called Fiveways, where you are not given the starting point of each word.
posted by paduasoy at 12:37 AM on January 15

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