Introducing the 'Where?' puzzle genre – a type of word association puzzle popularised by The GCHQ Puzzle Book (2016).

General instructions (adapted from the book): This puzzle type consists of an ordered list of words (written in columns purely for convenience), which should be read from left to right and top to bottom. The question itself asks you where in the list a specific additional word should be placed i.e. between which two neighbouring words in the list our additional word belongs.

In a similar way to a puzzle, the words in the list can be partitioned into equal-sized sets depending on words associated with them; each set usually has a different word association method to the others. Importantly, the list has been arranged so that these associated words are in alphabetical order. Typically there are 7 sets of 8 words, or 8 sets of 7 words (though other combinations are possible). The additional word is the missing member of one of the sets, and you have to work out where in the list the associated word fits alphabetically, and hence where the word itself should appear in the list.

e.g. A very small and contrived example (solution follows): Where does 'Laughter' fit in the following list?

Icing Rather Sit Penny
Bother Norwegian Slap Paperback

In this case, we seek 3 sets of 3 words, and the word associations can be correctly resolved as follows:

Icing (on the) CAKE Rather (F)ATHER Sit (on the) FENCE Penny LANE
Bother (M)OTHER Norwegian WOOD Slap (on the) WRIST Paperback WRITER

Here, the 3 sets are: (a) 'SOMETHING on the BLANK' idioms, (b) Words that become family relations by changing the first letter, and (c) Two-word Beatles songs missing the second word. The set which only has 2 members so far is the 'family relations' set, so note that LAUGHTER can become (D)AUGHTER, and its correct place in the list would be between Icing and Rather, since DAUGHTER (the associated word) comes alphabetically between CAKE and FATHER. (Note that the associated words appear in alphabetical order, as described above...)

Now for the real question - a Stiv original, based on the GCHQ format...

Where does ‘Eye’ fit in the following list?

Hello Hand Blind Busy Halo
Free Panther Skate Bear America
Believe Little Chain Sparkling Sad
Craig Strange Dead Sick Sly
Third Field Crooked Rain Serial
Dean Candy Hill Law Milkshake
Weight Royals Wilson Music Strong
University Quiet Endless Moan Modern
Pure Pan Water Silver Umbrella
Hood Witch Rabies Table Tango
Story Planet Machine Dumb Towards

In the first instance, please hold off posting partial answers unless you think you have found at least half of the correct word associations (although if you make it that far, why not push to complete the whole puzzle!). Thank you, and enjoy!


1 Answer 1


The groups are:

anagrams of countries
adjectives followed by "as a/an" and a animals
other names of actors with Bible-book names
songs by mononymous singers
second words to go with first words of 2-word Disney movie titles
remainders of partial names of Marvel "Avengers"
other words to go with words from 2-word Agatha Christie book titles
remainders of partial names of Olympic sports/events

and here's the list of words with their partners and groups:

Hello      adele        singer 1
Hand       ball         olympics 1
Blind      bat          animal 1
Busy       bee? beaver? animal 2
Halo       beyonce      singer 2
Free       bird         animal 3
Panther    black        marvel 1
Skate      boarding     olympics 2
Bear       brother      disney 1
America    captain      marvel 2
Believe    cher         singer 3
Little     chicken      disney 2
Chain      china        country 1
Sparkling  cyanide      christie 1
Sad        cypress      christie 2
Craig      daniel       actor 1
Strange    doctor       marvel 3
Dead       dodo         animal 4
Sick       dog          animal 5
Sly        fox          animal 6
Third      girl         christie 3
Field      hockey       olympics 3
Crooked    house        christie 4
Rain       iran         country 2
Serial     israel       country 3
Dean       james        actor 2
Candy      john         actor 3
Hill       jonah        actor 4
Law        jude         actor 5
Milkshake  kelis        singer 4
Weight     lifting      olympics 4
Royals     lorde        singer 5
Wilson     luke         actor 6
Music      madonna      singer 6
Strong     mark         actor 7
University monsters     disney 3
Quiet      mouse        animal 7
Endless    night        christie 5
Moan       oman         country 4
Modern     pentathlon   olympics 5
Pure       peru         country 5
Pan        peter        disney 4
Water      polo         olympics 6
Silver     quick        marvel 4
Umbrella   rihanna      singer 6
Hood       robin        disney 5
Witch      scarlet      marvel 5
Rabies     serbia       country 6
Table      tennis       olympics 7
Tango      tonga        country 7
Story      toy          disney 6
Planet     treasure     disney 7
Machine    war          marvel 7
Dumb       witness      christie 6
Towards    zero         christie 7

At this point we are missing

one Marvel character: HAWKeye, who therefore belongs between Third and Field.

Credit where due:

I posted a nearly-there partial; a very thorough comment from samm82 finished things off. The biggest single defect of my partial answer is that I had failed to notice that there's not one movie-related category but two, the one I missed being the Marvel characters. There were a few other errors, mostly consequences of this one. samm82 also noticed that "field hockey" is an Olympic sport despite its absence from the official-looking list I was using. If you like this answer, you should probably find something of samm82's and upvote it.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ rot13(Gur zbivrf frpgvba fubhyq or fcyvg vagb "Qvfarl zbivrf" (vapyhqvat OEBGURE Orne naq GERNFHER Cynarg) naq "Zneiry urebrf/Niratref" (vapyhqvat DHVPX Fvyire, FPNEYRG Jvgpu, naq JNE Znpuvar). Gura lbh nqq Zhfvp ol ZNQBAAN gb "fbatf ol srznyr zbabalzbhf fvatref", ZNEX Fgebat gb "Ovoyr-obbx npgbef", naq svryq UBPXRL gb "Bylzcvp fcbegf", yrnivat UNJXrlr gb svavfu bss "Zneiry urebrf", fb "rlr" jbhyq tb orgjrra "guveq" naq "svryq".) $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, nice! I had noticed that rot13(n ybg bs gur zbivrf jrer Qvfarl barf) but my knowledge of rot13(nyy guvatf Zneiry) is less than nothing so it's unsurprising that I didn't spot those. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 2:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Answer updated in the light of samm82's extremely informative comment. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ argh. just figured it out and found out i'm too late. though i was wondering how we know rot13(vg'f unjxrlr naq abg ohyyfrlr be pngfrlr) $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 3:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SteveV the more specific category could be rot13(Niratref, Zneiry urebrf sebz ZPH svyzf, be n pbzovangvba bs gur gjb) $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 14:42

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