Word Search: Torture or Teacher?

Disclaimer

Face Puzzle from Aspie ParentThe puzzle I used in this post appears in the book titled, “Brain Games: Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day.” The contributing writer for Brain Games is Holli Fort and the puzzle editor is Fraser Simpson. Brain Games is a trademark of Publications International, Ltd. Louis Weber, CEO of Publications International, allowed me to use the puzzle in this post. I chose to write this post because solving, and attempting to solve, a word search puzzle can be a fun way to strengthen attention, creative thinking, problem solving, and visual search skills.  I did not, and will not, receive any compensation for writing this post.

Instructions

Find each word in the puzzle by circling each letter in the word. Each word may appear horizontally, vertically, diagonally, forward, or backward in the featured puzzle. After you circle each letter of each word in the list, write the non-circled letters on the line below the puzzle search grid. It is important you write the non-circled letters in the order they appear, from the top left corner horizontally to the bottom right corner. The goal of the puzzle is to identify the mystery word or phrase formed by the letters you listed on the line below the puzzle search grid. In the following puzzle, the mystery word or phrase does not require you to change the order of mystery letters if you followed these instructions.

Featured Puzzle

Word Search from Brain Games Variations

The puzzle designer will determine if a puzzle is easy, slightly challenging, or difficult to solve. Some of the following variations are included in the book mentioned throughout this post. I have seen the following variations:

  • Any combination of words spelled horizontally, vertically, or diagonally
  • Any combination of words spelled forward or backward
  • Any combination of letters displayed right side up, or at angle
  • Any combination of letters, numbers, or symbols
  • All, some, or none of the words identified (sometimes the total number of words is identified rather than a detailed list of words)
  • Include or exclude a mystery word
  • Change the order in which mystery letters appear to form a mystery word
  • Include or exclude a mystery phrase
  • Change the order in which mystery letters appear to form a mystery phrase

I have also seen online versions of word search puzzles in which:

  • Neither the words nor number of words is identified
  • Words may be formed with letters on adjacent tiles

For example, you can find the words “trade,” “art,” “ear,” “die,” and “dart” in the following 6-letter puzzle because each letter necessary to form a word is horizontally, vertically, or diagonally next to (adjacent) the next letter in the word. As illustrated immediately below, each letter in the word “trade” is horizontally, vertically, or diagonally next to the subsequent letter in the word.

2014-0825 AdjacentHowever, you cannot form the words “date,” “dire,” or “tide” because each letter necessary to form a word is NOT adjacent to the next letter in those words. As illustrated immediately below, the first three letters in the word “date” are adjacent, but the “[E]” is not horizontally, vertically, or diagonally next to the “[T].”

2014-0825 Not Adjacent

Credits

Click here to read another Beyond Injury post in the Torture or Teacher series.

Thanks to Barnes and Noble for stocking the book in which the featured puzzle appears; Publications International for publishing a book that includes several word search puzzles, and allowing me to share the featured puzzle in this post; Google for finding more than 1,040 000 sites that provide free, printable word search puzzles; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.

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