How To Solve Word Search Puzzles

A Word Search puzzle is a word game consisting of a grid of letters and a list of words to find. Some difficult word search puzzles do not provide a word list.

The objective of the puzzle is to find and mark all the words from the list that are hidden within the grid.

The words may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal in the grid. The direction of the words may be left to right, right to left, up, or down.


Many word search puzzles have a theme that units the words, whereas others contain random words.

Word Search Puzzle

This word search contains 30 words under the theme of Olympic Host Cities. Each of the words is hidden in the letter grid above.

Word Search Solution

The solution to the puzzle is shown here. Notice that the words are horizontal, vertical, and diagonal, and the direction of the words are left to right, right to left, up, or down.

Some Common Strategies

  • Go through each line in the puzzle from left to right and right to left looking for the word's first letter. When found, look at the surrounding letters to see if the second letter of the word is present. If so, look to see if the following letter in the same direction matches the third letter.

  • Look for words that have letters that stand out such as J, Q, X, and Z as these are often easiest to locate.

  • Look for words that contain two repeating letters, such as OO or SS, as these are also easiest to locate.

  • Some people like to go through the grid looking for words they can find and seeing if they are from the word list. Of course, this is the strategy to use when a word list is not provided.,,,

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