Identify the Complex Missing Word in a Scrambled Set

In this worksheet, students will work out the missing word in a sequence of scrambled words. It will develop their problem solving and sequencing skills.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Word Scrambles

Difficulty level:

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?

Here 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:

What could be the special pattern below?

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

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 try another:

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)

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 the final challenge, word detective?

Here are 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 groups of words:

[Potato, Tomato], [Wisely, ______ ]

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:

[Worms, Wards], [Bones, _____ ]

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 ...

Here are groups of words:

[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.

Here are pairs of words:

[Cloud, Flout], [Veins, _____ ]

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 groups of words:

[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.

Here are groups of words:

[Noise, Coins], [Place, _____ ]

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:

[Cheeks, Sheets], [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.

Here are groups of words:

[Helmet, Helper], [Hamlet, ______ ]

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:

[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 the final challenge, word detective?

Here are 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.

EDDIE SAYS
Great! The second word in each group has had the first and last letters changed to a 'd'. Remember to look carefully at which letters have been changed in the example.
• Question 2

Here are groups of words:

[Potato, Tomato], [Wisely, ______ ]

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

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

Timely
EDDIE SAYS
The first and third letters of the second word in each group have been changed to 't' and 'm'. The letters that are changed are not always next to each other, as this question shows.
• Question 3

Here are groups of words:

[Worms, Wards], [Bones, _____ ]

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

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

Bands
EDDIE SAYS
Well done! The second word in each group has had the second and fourth letters changed to 'a' and 'd'.
• Question 4

And the next little lot, word detective ...

Here are groups of words:

[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.

Porter
EDDIE SAYS
Superstar effort! The second word in each group has had the second and last letters changed to 'o' and 'r'. You're doing really well, word scrambler!
• Question 5

Here are pairs of words:

[Cloud, Flout], [Veins, _____ ]

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

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

Feint
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the first and last letters changed to 'f' and 't'. There are some tricky words in this one - remember to make a note of any words that are new to you and look them up in a dictionary to see what they mean.
• Question 6

Halfway there now, word detective!

Here are groups of words:

[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.

Welds
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the second and third letters changed to 'e' and 'l'. Did you get that one?
• Question 7

Here are groups of words:

[Noise, Coins], [Place, _____ ]

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

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

Clans
EDDIE SAYS
A tricky one! Did it catch you out, word detective? The second word in each group has had the first letter and the last two letters changed to 'c' and 'ns'.
• Question 8

Here are groups of words:

[Cheeks, Sheets], [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.

Shorts
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? The second word in each group has had the first and fifth letters changed to 's' and 't'.
• Question 9

Here are groups of words:

[Helmet, Helper], [Hamlet, ______ ]

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

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

Hamper
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the fourth and the sixth letters changed to 'p' and 'r'. One more question to go!
• Question 10

Here are 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.

Crimp
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this last one? The second word in each group has had the third and last letters changed to 'i' and 'p'. You have reached the end of this activity. Well done word scrambler!
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