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poofandmook's avatar

Word search puzzle books... are they screwing with your head on purpose?

Asked by poofandmook (17277points) July 19th, 2010

I’ve been into word searches a lot lately, and I’ve noticed that whenever I’m looking for a word, a lot of times, there will be sort of a concentration of some of the letters in a cluster that trick you into thinking the word is there, but then it’s right nearby and doesn’t actually use the letters in the cluster.

For example… I was just looking for “graham”. There were several Gs, Rs, and As in a very small cluster, but the actual word was just outside of it. Lots of times when I’m looking for a word, and I see the cluster, I look right around it and it’s always very close.

Am I imagining/over-analyzing things?

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17 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

I think these things are done randomly with computers these days. But, it could be part of the program.

I used to make word searches and I would always try to confuse the player in the same way you described.

tedibear's avatar

You’re not hallucinating at all! I’ve noticed this in the past, more so with “professional” ones than the homemade kind. Of course, I’ve never had one made by @tinyfaery ;~)

YARNLADY's avatar

There are different levels, easy, medium and challenging. You have discovered the challenging ones.

poofandmook's avatar

@YARNLADY: These are challenging..? Yeesh. I would hate to see what the easy ones are like.

Kraken's avatar

DUH! They’re puzzle books. Puzzles boggle the mind.
Of course they are screwing with your mind.

lillycoyote's avatar

Either Fox News, the Republicans. the Tea Baggers, the Left Wing Nuts, Aliens, or Target buyers are hoping to harvest whatever it is that’s in your ovaries or your testes, or in your backyard or your garage or your crawl space or your attic, they don’t care. They want it. Watch your back.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve always noticed that, too, so it’s definitely not just you imagining things. I tend to think it’s deliberate.

lillycoyote's avatar

@poofandmook Wow! I wrote that? WTF?

I think I was trying to make a joke about the slightly paranoid tone of your question, the idea that the word search people might be purposely screwing with your head. I thought that was kind of funny, but my comment just makes me sound like a kind of scary, raving lunatic, which I’m not, by the way, doesn’t it? Sometimes I stay on fluther long after it would have been much better to have logged off. It must have been one of those nights.

augustlan's avatar

I vote for drunken Fluthering. :p

lillycoyote's avatar

@augustlan Yes, kids, if you plan on drinking and Fluthering always arrange to have a responsible, designated commenter along with you. And, let your friends know that if they’re had too much to drink and still insist on Fluthering you will have no choice but to take their keyboards away from them.

augustlan's avatar

Friends don’t let friends fluther drunk! On second thought, sometimes it should be encouraged. ;-)

poofandmook's avatar

well I’m glad THAT got cleared up. I was having a scared. LOL

lillycoyote's avatar

It kind of scared me a little bit too, reading it over. I’ve had comments modded, why, for the love of god, couldn’t that have been one of them? I’d flag it myself, but I will leave it there as a reminder to myself to not Fluther into the wee hours of the night.

actuallery's avatar


When a word search puzzle purposefully adds incongruous (whatever that means) insertions, it’s not a good puzzle. The puzzler ahould not be trying to confuse the plater whth GRAHA or GRAH mixes. I used to do a Word Search puzzle in a local weekly magazine and my fastest time was 43 seconds. They did not put in those confusing partial words, either.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

No. I’ve seen that too. It annoyed me.

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