by Ross Eckler
Word Ways, 1994


The five-letter word network given below is partitioned into 27 subnetworks, each having a unique vowel-consonant pattern (Y in first position is deemed a consonant, otherwise a vowel). All words are in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary: each subnetwork lists the total OSPD words in it. The network is a tree; there are no closed cycles. Since two subnetworks (one with CRWTH and PHPHT, the other with SCHMO and SCHWA) are unlinkable with the others, and three (vvvvv, vvvvc, vvvcv) are empty, the 27 that remain comprise a maximal spanning tree. A computer could be used to construct a tree with fewer total words.


                       layer           1116curse--231curie
                         |                 curve       |
  3ankhs                 |                 curvy       |
     |             2101later  871curls-----curly   12ourie
     |                 mater     carls
268ankes               mates     marls---19earls---13early
   antes               mares-----marts
   anted               mires     tarts
   acted               sires     torts--647toots
   acred---66aired-----sired               boots--296booty
   ached                 |                 boors
   ashed                 |     11chiao     doors
   ashes             48shred       |       doers
   asses   58atria     shrew 1430chino     dyers
   arses       |       strew       |         |
   arsis       |       strep       |         |
   arris   11stria-----strip  874chink    6eyers
   arras               strop     think
     |                   |       thank
     |                   |       shank-slank-slant--183alant
110arias            420stoop     shark                   |
   areas               scoop     shirk              192alane
     |                 scoot     shirt                 aline
     |                 shoot-----short                 amine
  4areae                                               amide

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