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How to Solve Hidden Meaning Word Puzzles

Updated February 21, 2017

A word puzzle with a hidden meaning usually has words arranged in such a way that when properly deciphered they translate to a common expression or cliché. Here's an example: anKOOLger. That odd-looking word translates into the expression "Look back in anger" because the word "look" is written backwards inside the word "anger."

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Learning to consistently solve hidden meaning word puzzles takes a little practice and patience. It also requires that you be at least somewhat familiar with common expressions. Once you master the new way of thinking about words, hidden word puzzles are a lot of fun.

  1. Identify all the possible words in the word puzzle. Some words will be obvious, while others might be broken apart like the word "Anger" in the example.

  2. Write down the words you find.

  3. Look at the position of the words in relation to each other. Is one over the other? That might mean that the word "on," "above" or "over" is also part of the solution. Add those words to your list.

  4. Find any other interesting characteristics in the puzzle. A word written backwards might mean that "back" is in your solution. A word written in a circle might mean "round" is part of the answer. Add those words to your list.

  5. Write down any synonyms or homonyms. The letter C might mean "see," for example.

  6. Play with the words on your list while looking at the puzzle. Put them together in different ways until you hit upon a common expression or cliché. When you do, compare the expression to the puzzle to see if it still makes sense. If it does, then that's likely your answer. If not, keep working.

  7. Check your final solution against the answer. Most hidden meaning word puzzles provide you an answer key somewhere. It's a very satisfying feeling when you solve the puzzle correctly.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil

About the Author

Heather Robson has more than 10 years of professional writing experience with articles appearing in publications such as "Portland Magazine" and "Treasure Valley Family Magazine." Her education is in physics and English literature, so she's ready to tackle any topic that comes her way.

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