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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 now. 

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.

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!

Are you ready for some more word scrambling?

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[halted, seated]

[scorch, ____ ]

 

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:

 

[time, tone]

[bite, ____ ]

 

A black, traditional alarm clock

 

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 your next word pairings: 

 

[clap, flat]

[corn, ____ ]

 

A traditional corn-on-the-cob

 

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

 

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

Explore these new dastardly duos of words:

 

[groans, croaks]

[slices, ____ ]

 

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

 

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

Check out the word pairings below: 

 

[ribbon, reason]

[tasted, ____ ]

 

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 more groups of words:

 

[claws, glass]

[traps, ____ ]

 

An empty drinking 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.

Check out these new word suspects: 

 

[coats, boars]

[teams, ____ ]

 

A family of wild boars

 

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.  

Here are some more groups of words:

 

[lobster, leather]

[whimper, ____ ]

 

lobster

 

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 word groupings below:

 

[sheep, shoes]

[flask, ____ ]

 

Animated flock of sheep

 

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

 

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

And finally... here are your last sets of words:

 

[young, fluke]

[snaps, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

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

  • Question 1

Are you ready for some more word scrambling?

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[halted, seated]

[scorch, ____ ]

 

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
Search
EDDIE SAYS
Search for the right answer and you will find it - this time a whopping three letters needed to be switched! The first word in each group has had its first three letters changed to sea in order to create the second word. Did you spot that the final three letters needed to remain the same in all four words?
  • Question 2

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[time, tone]

[bite, ____ ]

 

A black, traditional alarm clock

 

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
Bone
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 changed to im in order to create the second word. Let's investigate another two mysterious word sets now...
  • Question 3

Investigate your next word pairings: 

 

[clap, flat]

[corn, ____ ]

 

A traditional corn-on-the-cob

 

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
Fort
EDDIE SAYS
This was a tricky one! The first word in each group has had its first and last letters changed in order to create the second word. The first letter (which is c in both words) has been converted into an f, whilst the final letter has become a t. If we switch the first letter of the word 'corn' for an f, the final letter for a t, and keep the two middle letters the same (or), then we reach the correct answer of 'fort'. Did you reach the same conclusion detective?
  • Question 4

Explore these new dastardly duos of words:

 

[groans, croaks]

[slices, ____ ]

 

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

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
Clicks
EDDIE SAYS
Let's start by identifying the letters which stay the same in the first pairing - they are 'roa' (which are the second, third and fourth letters) and the 's' at the end. If we apply this to the second pairing, then 'slices' becomes: _ l i c _ s What have the other two letters been replaced with? The first letter has been replaced with a c, and the second-to-last one with a k. If we add a c and a k into the gaps here, we reach: _ l i c _ s -> c l i c k s Were you successful with this one, word detective?
  • Question 5

Check out the word pairings below: 

 

[ribbon, reason]

[tasted, ____ ]

 

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
Teased
EDDIE SAYS
So three of the letters have stayed the same here, and three have switched. If we start with our constant letters, we reach: t _ _ _ e d The letters we need to add in are eas. If we add these in, then we find: t _ _ _ e d -> t e a s e d Super, you're now halfway through this activity already!
  • Question 6

Here are two more groups of words:

 

[claws, glass]

[traps, ____ ]

 

An empty drinking 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
Grass
EDDIE SAYS
Did this one catch you out detective? If we start with our constant letters, we reach: _ r a _ s The letters we need to add in are g and s. If we add these in, then we find: _ r a _ s -> g r a s s
  • Question 7

Check out these new word suspects: 

 

[coats, boars]

[teams, ____ ]

 

A family of wild boars

 

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
Bears
EDDIE SAYS
If we start with our constant letters, we reach: _ e a _ s The letters we need to add in are b and r. If we add these in, then we find: _ e a _ s -> b e a r s Switching 'boars' for 'bears' - both sound very dangerous to be honest!
  • Question 8

Here are some more groups of words:

 

[lobster, leather]

[whimper, ____ ]

 

lobster

 

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
Weather
EDDIE SAYS
If we start with our constant letters, we reach: w _ _ _ _ e r The letters we need to add in are eath. If we add these in, then we find: w _ _ _ _ e r -> w e a t h e r Phew - that's a lot of changing letters! Did you catch them all?
  • Question 9

Check out the word groupings below:

 

[sheep, shoes]

[flask, ____ ]

 

Animated flock of sheep

 

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
Floss
EDDIE SAYS
If we start with our constant letters, we reach: f l _ s _ This was a little tricky, as our switching letters were spaced out. Did you spy that our sneaky fourth letter needed to remain the same? The letters we need to add in are o and s. If we add these in, then we reach: f l _ s _ -> f l o s s Only one more mystery remains to be solved!
  • Question 10

And finally... here are your last sets of words:

 

[young, fluke]

[snaps, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
Flake
EDDIE SAYS
Almost all of our letters needed to change here! If we start with our constant letters, we reach: _ _ a _ _ The letter pairs we need to add in are fl and ke. If we add these in, then we find: _ _ a _ _ -> f l a k e This activity is now complete, sweet! 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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