# Constrained Pyramids

By Thorpe, Susan | Word Ways, February 2005 | Go to article overview

# Constrained Pyramids

Thorpe, Susan, Word Ways

Word pyramids, in which a letter is added at each step and the letters rearranged, will be familiar to the readers of Word Ways. The aim has been to construct a pyramid with as long a base word as possible, ideally with all words from a single dictionary. Ross Eckler constructed an excellent pyramid, without any plurals, with the 17-letter base word ANTICEREMONIALIST (Word Ways 79146), only slightly marred by the inclusion of the non-dictionary RECLAMATION1ST which seems a perfectly good inferred word. Two pyramids of Kyle Corbin's appeared in WW88075, both with a 17-letter base word, one pyramid with three plurals and the other with five plurals. In WW2003021, Darryl Francis offered the first pyramid with an 18-letter base word PRESENTATIONALISMS. This pyramid included five plurals, two of which were straight pluralisations of the adjacent word.

The pyramids offered here are not aimed at having the longest base word. They are special, however, in that each of them abides by one or more of a range of constraints. Most of the words used below are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. The sources of non-OED words are given at the end.

Let us begin with a pyramid which describes itself.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In these pyramids, each word starts with the same letter, and each word ends with the same letter.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In the first of these two pyramids, each word both starts and finishes with the same letter, E. In the second pyramid, the second and penultimate letters are all Es. The letter E does not appear elsewhere in these pyramids.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The alternating letters A and N form the sides of the first pyramid. All the words in the second pyramid begin with A and end with AL.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

So far, we have concentrated on the first and last letters, the second and penultimate letters, and the first, penultimate and last letters. Now we turn our attention to the central letters of the words. As these central letters have to be arranged in a vertical line, each step of the pyramid adds two letters rather than the more normal one letter. The words of the first five pyramids below have one of the five major vowels as their central letter. The vowel in question does not occur elsewhere in the pyramid. …

If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes

#### Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

#### Cited article

Constrained Pyramids
Settings

#### Settings

Typeface
Text size Reset View mode
Search within

Look up

#### Look up a word

• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
• Highlights & Notes
• Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

### How to highlight and cite specific passages

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

## Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

## Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.