Find the keys, spot the strings: The Wknd puzzle by Dilip D’Souza

Updated on Sep 27, 2021 12:51 PM IST

What’s the best way to go about seeking words within a grid? Do you look for the double letters, or the first one of each word? Try your luck with a lyrical maze.

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ByBy Dilip D’Souza

This is (apparently) a simple search for words. Look for them in this grid of letters. At one level, this is straightforward — keep looking and presumably you will eventually find them all. But are there useful strategies? For example, if you’re searching for “HELLO”, should you look for Hs (to start the word) or for repeated Ls (because that may be a giveaway)?

There’s some evidence that children like puzzles such as these. They teach concentration, but also the ability to rewire method and direction on the fly. You know what to search for (coming up), but of course the words are not obvious, at least not right away. Do you miss the forest because you’re lost among the trees? Is “HELLO” easy or hard to see in a grid that also has plenty of irrelevant letters? Does it depend on which direction you’re following? Are some directions easier than others?

So: the names of 14 musical instruments, plus the Spanish name for one of them, are in this grid. They can be in any direction — up, down, left, right, diagonal, backward — but invariably in a straight line.

Five of the instruments are Indian. One of those has a Western twin which is also among the 14.

At least two, maybe more, of the Western instruments are also widely used in Indian music.

Puzzle: Find the 14 instruments.

Bonus: Find a five-letter word and an eight-letter word, neither of which is an instrument. Find a six-letter sequence that, if you prefix it with one more letter, gives you a word that became world-famous overnight in late 2004. No, it’s not an instrument either.

Scroll down for the answers.

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Answers:

Instruments in red; bonus words in blue

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Veena, tabla, tanpura, sitar, santoor, harmonica, dulcimer, piano, harp, violin, flute, cello, saxophone and guitar. Also guitarra, the Spanish word for the instrument, from which English actually got “guitar”. The dulcimer is pretty much identical to the santoor.

Five-letter word: queer.

Eight-letter word: recreate.

Six-letter sequence: sunami. Prefix with “t”.

(An earlier version of this puzzle erroneously referred to one of the bonuses as a seven-letter, rather than an eight-letter, word)

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