I'm hoping to find a bit of direction for this problem I was given. Been banging my head over it for two weeks now. Essentially, I'm to write a function, public static int FindWords(char[][] puzzle) , where given a 2D char array, I can find the amount of times a given set of strings occur. Given:

public static class PuzzleSolver
{
public static string[] DICTIONARY = {"OX","CAT","TOY","AT","DOG","CATAPULT","T"};
static bool IsWord(string testWord)
{
if (DICTIONARY.Contains(testWord))
return true;
return false;
}
}

A 2D Array for instance that is like this:

public static char[][] puzzle = {{'C','A','T'},
{'X','Z','T'},
{'Y','O','T'}};

Would return back 8 for the following instances: (AT, AT, CAT, OX, TOY, T, T, T) because we would be searching horizontally, vertically, diagonally and in reverse for all the same directions.

My approach was to visit each char in the array and then search for all possible directions with the SearchChar function…

public static int FindWords(char[][] puzzle){
int arrayRow    = puzzle.length;
int arrayCol    = puzzle.length;
int found       = 0;

for(int i = 0; i < arrayRow; i++){
for(int j = 0; j < arrayCol; j++){
found += SearchChar(i,j);
}
}
return found;
}

Which looks like this:

public static int SearchChar(int row, int col){
if(row < 0 || col < 0 || row > puzzle.length || col > puzzle.length)//Is row or col out of bounds?
return 0;

if(IsWord(puzzle
[col])) return 1; return 0; }

Conceptually, I feel like I need some kind of recursive function to handle this but I can't seem to wrap my head around it. I don't even know if that's the right approach. I've been playing around with StringBuilder appending but I'm still struggling with that too. I think this recursive function would need to take for instance, puzzle (or 'C') and see if it is in the dictionary. Followed by puzzle + puzzle (or 'CA') and then finally puzzle + puzzle + puzzle (or 'CAT'). Then the same would have to be don vertically and diagonally. I'm having trouble trying to get back into the SearchChar function with a position change to append to the original char so that I can see if it is in the DICTIONARY.

Sorry if this is a bit wordy, but I just want to give the impression that I'm actually trying to solve this. Not just some lazy programmer that's copy & pasting some problem up here for someone else to solve. Thanks in advance for any help!