This puzzle is in the spirit of Word connections, but is a more elaborate version of the same idea.

In each puzzle, you have a square of seven words of the following form:

A       B
C   D   E
F       G

Each of the letters A-G represents a word, and each pair of adjacent words (AC, CF, CD, DE, BE, EG) forms a new, longer word. At the start you are given only A, B, F, and G; your task is to find D.

Square #1 (easier)

DATA            FACE
 ??      ??      ??
ROLL            MARK

Square #2 (harder)

LOVE            BALD
 ??      ??      ??
SONG            ROLL

I don't know whether these are uniquely solvable. I hope they are. If not, I'll add some kind of restriction.

All feedback welcome! It's my first puzzle of this sort.

  • $\begingroup$ The nested level of mystery is delicious and could of course go arbitrarily deep. A local newspaper carries an almost-as-interesting one-sided version with given mystery-word lengths. $\endgroup$ – humn Jan 14 '17 at 4:11
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    $\begingroup$ When I saw this comment in my inbox, I knew it was from you, @humn. There's a certain poetry about your feedback as well as your questions :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 14 '17 at 4:12

Number 1 is:


This puzzle reminds me of a game from a podcast I listen to wherein they connect movie titles. For example, Purple Rain Man = Purple Rain + Rain Man. Movie titles might make for an interesting themed variant of your puzzle.

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    $\begingroup$ GentlePurpleRain = Gentle Purple + Purple Rain? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 14 '17 at 14:26

Number 2 is:


(I'm finding #1 harder; I have one of the intermediate words but the others are eluding me.)

  • $\begingroup$ Good job! (And shows how hard it is to judge difficulty beforehand. I was sure the right-hand half of this would make it especially difficult for people to get, but evidently not.) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 14 '17 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ Actually it made it easier. How many words are there starting BALD, after all? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 14 '17 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ Never heard of BIRD-LIME and definitely would not have gotten that with the no-computers tag. $\endgroup$ – GoldenGremlin Jan 14 '17 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ I believe you. I also believe that you are illegally poaching birds in your spare time. ;-) $\endgroup$ – GoldenGremlin Jan 14 '17 at 3:52
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    $\begingroup$ Well, better that than doing it legally. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 14 '17 at 4:04

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