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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.

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you post this to see if the community can find out something out of nothing??? $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Aug 12 '15 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ @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 '15 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. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Aug 12 '15 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald What about cannotdle? $\endgroup$ – Wrathbelle Aug 13 '15 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 '15 at 13:30
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These are all

anagrams of countries with the first letter removed.

along

Angola

soothe

Lesotho

haunt

Bhutan

remain

Armenia

leap

Nepal

candle

Iceland

aurist

Austria

So the word that links them is

Albania

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  • $\begingroup$ Why, yes they are. Well done, my fine fellow! $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Aug 13 '15 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ If I might ask, which one did you find first? $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Aug 13 '15 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 '15 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 $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 13 '15 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ I love how my random comment became a hint :D $\endgroup$ – The random guy Aug 14 '15 at 6:53
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I almost believed you that there was no common link. And was almost off on my way to other puzzles.

But...

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.

along-n#r(l,g)=agog
soothe-e#r(s,b)=booth
haunt-a#r(t,k)=hunk
remain-a#r(m,s)=resin
leap-p#r(a,d)=led
candle-l#r(e,y)=candy
aurist-u#r(t,e)=arise

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

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    $\begingroup$ 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 '15 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 '15 at 18:56

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