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Eight Lettered Squares Puzzle

I ran across the eight lettered squares puzzle, and I had to stop everything and try it out. Then, I had to make my husband stop everything and try it out with me. Math puzzles on a Saturday evening? Yes, we are THAT family!

eight lettered squares puzzle

The puzzle comes from The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Puzzles by The Diagram Group.

The puzzle that caught my eye was the 82nd (of 318) puzzles in the book. The premise is simple. Take a rectangular piece of paper including eight letters. Fold the paper so that the letters end up in alphabetical order, one on top of the other.  No cutting allowed!

I immediately opened up Publisher and got to typing up the eight lettered squares puzzle. This is what I came up with:

Eight Lettered Squares Puzzle

The husband and I cut out our rectangles and started folding.

Here was my thought process:

Hmmm…this is fun.

Nope. This is impossible. 

Wait. This is just like Manifold!

If I can do Manifold, I can do this.


I can’t do this.

I think I can do this.


Meanwhile, the husband is still folding and folding and folding and folding. For once, I figured out a puzzle BEFORE Shaun. This is rare. He usually solves puzzles at least twice as fast as me. I think my years of fiddling with origami may have put me at a slight advantage when it came to solving this puzzle.

One thing I realized while solving the puzzle was that I needed to find a better solution for using it with students. The way I typed up the puzzle uses one page/student.

So, I decided to type up a version with multiple puzzles to one page to make it a bit more friendly on your copy budget!

Eight Lettered Squares Puzzle

My last period Pre-AP Algebra 2 class has become a bit obsessed with puzzles over the last few days. On Friday, I had a few students ask to stay AFTER SCHOOL (ON A FRIDAY) to work on the Color Square Puzzle.

Color Square Puzzle

I’m excited to let them tackle this new eight lettered squares puzzle!

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.

More Paper Folding Puzzles

Patti Saucke

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Hi Sarah, We love your puzzles in our classroom! Thank you.

Emma Burgess

Thursday 21st of October 2021

Thank you!


Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Can I get an answer key to this please?

Sarah Carter

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Sent you an email, Nicole!

Candice Brown

Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Hello! Do you have a link to the solution? Thank you!

Sarah Carter

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Just sent you an email, Candice!


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

What is the solution to the eight lettered square?

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