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Final Friday Fix: May 2023 Challenge

26 May 2023

On the final Friday of each month, we are going to set an Excel / Power Pivot / Power Query / Power BI challenge for you to puzzle over so that you can get your “Excel fix”.  Challenge your office colleagues to see who can solve the puzzle quickest.  There are no prizes at this stage: you are playing for bragging rights only!


The Challenge

We dedicate this month’s challenge to a certain member of the team who has a penchant for letters and numbers games…

There are certain gameshows that get you to make the longest word from nine [9] letters – and you don’t even have to be a postal worker!

Therefore, this month, we have a hybrid Power Query and Excel challenge.  We have provided a challenge file which includes the following input cells:

The challenge is to accept up to nine [9] input letters, and find the longest word(s) that can be created from them.  Only the longest word(s) should be returned in ‘Results’, and the ‘Score’ will be the length of the longest word.  We have input some letters as an example.  For this selection of letters the ‘Results’ (for an English dictionary) would be:

[Yes, we know nine letter words normally score double points, but that’s not really the “point” here, in case you wish to “point” this out!]

You can download the challenge file here.


As always, there are some conditions:

  • This is a Power Query challenge and Excel challenge - no VBA Is required.
  • You may use a free dictionary source of your choice.
  • The solution should not be case-sensitive.
  • If no words can be found, the solution should indicate this.


Sounds easy?  Then why not have a go?  We’ll publish one solution in Monday’s blog.  Have a great weekend in the meantime!