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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 explore 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 a challenge, word detective?

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[tries, dried]

[great, ____ ]

 

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:

 

[potato, tomato]

[wisely, ____ ]

 

tomato

   

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 the new word suspects below: 

 

[worms, wards]

[bones, ____ ]

 

Group of meal worms

 

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 the next little lot, word detective:

 

[pastes, poster]

[parted, ____ ]

 

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

 

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

Consider these next dastardly word duos: 

 

[cloud, flout]

[veins, ____ ]

 

Single rain cloud

 

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

 

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

Halfway there now, word detective!

 

Here are your new word suspects to analyse:

 

[birch, belch]

[words, ____ ]

 

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 pairings:

 

[noise, coins]

[place, ____ ]

 

Collect of UK coins (3 pounds, 50p and 5p)

 

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:

 

[cheeks, sheets]

[thorns, ____ ]

 

Branch with thorns

 

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 your penultimate pairings below: 

 

[helmet, helper]

[hamlet, ____ ]

 

Blue, silver and black bike helmet

 

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:

 

[cross, crisp]

[crams, ____ ]

 

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 a challenge, word detective?

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[tries, dried]

[great, ____ ]

 

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
Dread
EDDIE SAYS
You're off the mark! The first word in each group has had its first and final letters both changed to d in order to create the second word. Remember to look carefully at which letters have been changed in the first pair, then apply exactly the same changes to the second pair.
  • Question 2

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[potato, tomato]

[wisely, ____ ]

 

tomato

   

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
Timely
EDDIE SAYS
The first word in each group has had its first and third letters changed in order to create the second word. The first letter has changed to a t, whilst the third has become an m. The letters which are changing are not always directly next to each other, as this case shows.
  • Question 3

Review the new word suspects below: 

 

[worms, wards]

[bones, ____ ]

 

Group of meal worms

 

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
Bands
EDDIE SAYS
This was a tricky one! The first word in each group has had its second and fourth letters changed in order to create the second word. The second letter (which is o in both words) has been converted into an a, whilst the fourth letter has become a d. If we switch the second letter of the word 'bones' for an a, the fourth letter for a d, and keep the other letters the same (first, third and last), then we reach the correct answer of 'bands'. Did you reach the same answer?
  • Question 4

And the next little lot, word detective:

 

[pastes, poster]

[parted, ____ ]

 

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
Porter
EDDIE SAYS
Let's start by identifying the letters which stay the same in the first pairing - they are p and ste (which are the first, third, fourth and fifth letters). If we apply this to the second pairing, then 'parted' becomes: p _ r t e _ What have the other two letters been replaced with? The second letter has been replaced with an o, and the final letter with an r. If we add an o and an r into the gaps here, we reach: p _ r t e _ -> p o r t e r Were you successful with this one, word detective?
  • Question 5

Consider these next dastardly word duos: 

 

[cloud, flout]

[veins, ____ ]

 

Single rain cloud

 

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
Feint
EDDIE SAYS
So three of the letters have stayed the same here, and two have switched. If we start with our constant letters, we reach: _ e i n _ The letters we need to add in are f and t. If we add these in, then we find: _ e i n _ -> f e i n t Have you heard of this word before? It means a deceptive or pretend blow or movement (often in a sport like boxing or fencing). There are some tricky words in this challenge - remember to make a note of any words that are new to you, look them up in a dictionary to see what they mean, and record them in your personal word log.
  • Question 6

Halfway there now, word detective!

 

Here are your new word suspects to analyse:

 

[birch, belch]

[words, ____ ]

 

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
Welds
EDDIE SAYS
If we start with our constant letters, we reach: w _ _ d s The letters we need to add in are el. If we add these in, then we find: w _ _ d s -> w e l d s
  • Question 7

Check out these new word pairings:

 

[noise, coins]

[place, ____ ]

 

Collect of UK coins (3 pounds, 50p and 5p)

 

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
Clans
EDDIE SAYS
A tricky one! Did it catch you out, word detective? If we start with our constant letters, we reach: _ l a _ _ The letters we need to add in are c then ns at the end. If we add these in, then we find: _ l a _ _ -> c l a n s Would you rather have some 'coins' or 'clans'? We think we know the answer to that one - ha ha!
  • Question 8

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[cheeks, sheets]

[thorns, ____ ]

 

Branch with thorns

 

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
Shorts
EDDIE SAYS
If we start with our constant letters, we reach: _ h o r _ s The letters we need to add in are s and t. If we add these in, then we find: _ h o r _ s -> s h o r t s It's like laundry day with all these 'sheets' and 'shorts'!
  • Question 9

Review your penultimate pairings below: 

 

[helmet, helper]

[hamlet, ____ ]

 

Blue, silver and black bike helmet

 

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
Hamper
EDDIE SAYS
The first word in each group has had its final three letters changed to per in order to create the second word. Only one more case to crack detective!
  • Question 10

Here are your final groups of words:

 

[cross, crisp]

[crams, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
Crimp
EDDIE SAYS
If we start with our constant letters in this final challenge, we reach: c r _ m _ The letters we need to add in are i and p. If we add these in, then we find: c r _ m _ -> c r i m p You have reached the end of this activity. Well done word scrambler! 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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