Re: XKCD has been totuting the complexity angle for years
But each word is more than one letter, and the typical one is over 5 letters, so even with shortcuts you need to go through 35 of them, and you're at least running geometric progression, which like factorials stacks up quickly. And BTW, "mezquite" is a synonym for "mesquite" and is a real word that contains "zq". Even "qz" can appear in this kind of sequence in something like "tranqzero".
And as for chaining the words together, that's what the "memory theater" is for. xkcd itself uses the technique for "correcthorsebatterystaple". Once upon a time, memory theater and other mnemonics were the only way to keep track of things because people were illiterate and could only communicate things orally. We did before, why can't we do it again?