Whatever you do, don't try to find a common link between the following list of words. There isn't one, I promise. And don't try to find a secret hidden word. There's not one of those, either.

$along, soothe, haunt, remain, leap, candle, aurist$

Like I said, nothing to find here... just move on...

Clarification: All of my nonsensical denying is just for fun. The entire puzzle could theoretically be solved with just the seven words and nothing else, but I'm a sucker for some silly exposition.

  • $\begingroup$ Did you post this to see if the community can find out something out of nothing??? $\endgroup$
    – Rohcana
    Aug 12, 2015 at 16:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Anachor nah, I prefer for my puzzles to stay riiiight on the line between cruel and downright mean, and I'm afraid that would push it way over! $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 12, 2015 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I was going to try something with antonyms since you're definitely not giving any hints with your puzzle wording, but candle obviously doesn't have any. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2015 at 19:03
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald What about cannotdle? $\endgroup$
    – user11791
    Aug 13, 2015 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Revulai nothing relates to these seven words thematically. They're unrelated. (Really.) BUT, when you can figure out how to make them related, you'll find that the hidden word certainly does relate to them thematically. $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 13, 2015 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


These are all

anagrams of countries with the first letter removed.















So the word that links them is


  • $\begingroup$ Why, yes they are. Well done, my fine fellow! $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 13, 2015 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ If I might ask, which one did you find first? $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 13, 2015 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ @BaileyM I saw your comment about gnola being very close and then Nepal and Armenia jumped out at me. I looked at a list of World countries to fill in the rest, but it was very quick once I confirmed that the missing letters were in the correct order. $\endgroup$
    – Gordon K
    Aug 13, 2015 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ I was SO CLOSE ... argh. "Along" is an anagram of Golan [Heights], so I was looking for more anagrams of place names in the Middle East :-P $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2015 at 23:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I love how my random comment became a hint :D $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2015 at 6:53

I almost believed you that there was no common link. And was almost off on my way to other puzzles.


I wasn't going to fall for your trickery. And these words that you so loudly proclaimed were common unrelated words, they are all cut from the same cloth. They are tricksters, dropping away a part of their identity, changing a bit of their remaining traits, and blending in with the populace without suspicion.

Your plan was good, far too good. But I'm better... And I've unmasked your hidden thugs.

In each word, drop a letter, and then replace one other letter to get a different word.


The minus sign subtracts the specified letter, whereas the #r operation replaces the specified letter with another letter.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This seems far too generic - it could apply to way too many words. For example, all of the words in the previous sentence could turn into: The, sums, or, of, genera, a, hold, ably, I, by, on, mat, cord. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ Aye, this is more generic than the "property" I'm definitely not looking for. Plus you have not provided a hidden word, which is good, because there is none. If I were you, I would certainly not continue to study the letters and possible permutations (as you have been), since there is nothing to find. $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:56

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