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Identify the Complex Missing Word in a Scrambled Set

In this worksheet, students will work out a pattern involving changing more than one letter which can be positioned anywhere in a word, then apply this to find a missing word. It will develop their problem solving and sequencing skills.

'Identify the Complex Missing Word in a Scrambled Set' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Word Scrambles

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

When people get tired they sometimes say their brains are scrambled!

 

Well, there is no room for that here, as we need your best brainpower to unscramble the following puzzle.

Challenge accepted, word detective?

 

Below are some pairs of words.

They each follow a special pattern and we need to find out what each pattern is!

 

You need to think about what the pattern is between the first two pairs, and then complete the third pair in the same way.

 

 


Let’s look at an example together.

What could be the special pattern below?

 

(appear, pears)          (return, turns)          (beside, ____ )            

           

    A green pear

 

Did you notice that the second word has had the first two letters removed and an -s added at the end?

 

This is our special pattern and we need to do the same to the word beside to find the missing word.

 

If we remove the be, we are left with side and then we need to add an s to get sides.

This makes our missing word SIDES.

 

So the complete set of words would be:

(appear, pears)          (return, turns)          (beside, sides)

 

 

 


Let’s investigate another example now. 

 

Look at these word pairs below.

Can you work out the special pattern to figure out which word comes next?

 

(scares, care)          (brains, rain)          (cabled, ____ )

 

Did you notice that the first and last letters are being removed each time?

 

We need to do the same for cabled and this gives us the answer ABLE.

 

So the complete set of words would be:

(scares, care)          (brains, rain)          (cabled, able)        

 

    A little girl in the rain in a yellow raincoat

 

Pssstt!! Here’s a handy hint to help you reach superstar status:

Remember to check if any letters have been added or removed from the word.
 

In this activity, you will need to be a word detective and work out the missing word in a pair.

 

Let’s get started!

Here's a new, tasty challenge for you, word detective!

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[part, pelt]

[moat, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[pear, pour]

[year, ____ ]

 

Hand pouring a jug of water into a glass

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Investigate this new dastardly duo of words below:

 

[tours, toast]

[roars, ____ ]

 

toaster

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words. 

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Here are groups of words:

 

[same, come]

[wire, ____ ]

 

Four coloured wires with exposed metal ends

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Review these new word pairings: 

 

[plait, plate]

[grass, ____ ]

 

Plate with crumbs on

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Check out the new word suspects below:

 

[forage, forest]

[honour, ____ ]

 

A forest in autumn

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Nearly there, word scrambler!

 

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[stand, stood]

[gleam, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two pairs, find the missing word.  

Explore these new word duos: 

 

[pane, pins]

[wane, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Check out these new sneaky scrambling words: 

 

[glue, glow]

[crab, ____ ]

 

Red crab with black claws

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Here are your final groups of words:

 

[wear, lead]

[hair, ____ ]

 

Woman with long, vibrant, red hair

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair of words, find the missing word.

  • Question 1

Here's a new, tasty challenge for you, word detective!

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[part, pelt]

[moat, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Melt
EDDIE SAYS
In this case, two letters have been changed! The first word in each group has had its second and third letters changed to el in order to create the second word. Some of the words we are starting with may contain some of the same letters, but it is always best to consider the positioning of the letters, rather than what they actually are, in order to solve this type of mystery. Are you ready for another one now?
  • Question 2

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[pear, pour]

[year, ____ ]

 

Hand pouring a jug of water into a glass

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Your
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on with this one detective? This time, the first word in each group has had its second and third letters (ea in both cases) changed to ou in order to create the second word. If you find these challenging, try writing the two words above each other then, like in hangman, cross out letters which have been removed or add dashes to indicate where letters have been added.
  • Question 3

Investigate this new dastardly duo of words below:

 

[tours, toast]

[roars, ____ ]

 

toaster

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words. 

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Roast
EDDIE SAYS
Fab effort so far, word detective! In this case, the first word in each group has had its final three letters changed to ast in order to create the second word. Are you getting the hang of these yet?
  • Question 4

Here are groups of words:

 

[same, come]

[wire, ____ ]

 

Four coloured wires with exposed metal ends

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Core
EDDIE SAYS
Now, the first word in each group has had its first two letters changed to co in order to create the second word. You're on a roll! Let's check out your next challenge now...
  • Question 5

Review these new word pairings: 

 

[plait, plate]

[grass, ____ ]

 

Plate with crumbs on

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Grate
EDDIE SAYS
Great! The first word in each group has had its final two letters changed to te in order to create the second word. Be careful here, as you may have thought the word 'grate' looked wrong, as it should be spelt 'great'. When we spell 'grate' like this, we are referring to the action that we may do with cheese to break it into smaller pieces, or the metal grills which can be found on roads. Look out for sneaky red herring words like these which are trying to catch you out, word detective. When words are pronounced the same, but have different meanings based on their spellings, they are called homophone.
  • Question 6

Check out the new word suspects below:

 

[forage, forest]

[honour, ____ ]

 

A forest in autumn

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Honest
EDDIE SAYS
The first word in each group has had its final three letters changed to est in order to create the second word. Remember, that the new word you create must be a real word, which makes sense. A great way to test this is to try and define it or to use it in a sentence. How would you define the word 'honest'? Keep going, you're getting there!
  • Question 7

Nearly there, word scrambler!

 

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[stand, stood]

[gleam, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two pairs, find the missing word.  

CORRECT ANSWER
Gloom
EDDIE SAYS
This was a tricky one! The first word in each group has had its third and fourth letters changed to oo in order to create the second word. Did you spot that the fifth letter stayed the same though? It would also have been tempting to think that 'stood' is the past tense of 'stand', then apply this logic to the second word group. In word scrambles like these we need to purely consider changes in the letter positions and composition, not in any meanings.
  • Question 8

Explore these new word duos: 

 

[pane, pins]

[wane, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Wins
EDDIE SAYS
Tricky - did you win this one detective?! The first word in each group has had its second and fourth letters changed in order to create the second word. The letter a has become an i, whilst the letter e has become an s. Remember that our switching letters do not have to be directly next to each other in our words.
  • Question 9

Check out these new sneaky scrambling words: 

 

[glue, glow]

[crab, ____ ]

 

Red crab with black claws

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Crow
EDDIE SAYS
The first word in each group has had its final two letters changed to ow in order to create the second word. It's funny that even though we have switched our letters, our word still describes an animal in both cases!
  • Question 10

Here are your final groups of words:

 

[wear, lead]

[hair, ____ ]

 

Woman with long, vibrant, red hair

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair of words, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Laid
EDDIE SAYS
In this final challenge, the first word in each group has had its first and final letters changed in order to create the second word. The first letters have become ls and the final letters have become ds. This activity is now done - hopefully you had lots of fun! You can now spot a pattern in changing more than one letter, which can be positioned anywhere in a word, then apply this to find a missing word.
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