This time it is not complicated. No tricks, no brain bending involved. A simple, straight forward word-search puzzle to relax...

  • All valid words are straight lines but can be found in any of the 8 directions
  • All valid words are at least 6 letters long
  • All special letters are replaced by their closest simple representation ( Ñ --> N ; Á --> A etc.)

...with a twist:

  • Words are written in multiple, different, European languages
  • Only words which can be found in at least 3 European languages are valid ( "word-triplet" )
  • Words of a valid word-triplets may not overlap with more than a single letter. (This automatically rules out words which are identical in multiple languages unless you find 2 variants which are spelled differently. It also rules out words which are just different by pre- or suffix.)
  • It is possible that words of different triplets share more than one letter.

small spoiler (not needed):

Yes, English is also used in this puzzle.

big spoiler (not needed):

Finding pairs of words does not guarantee there is a triplet. Red herrings have been included.

P Y B E G R A F E N I S X J R L P 
I S V A T B A O E V A N O R E A O 
Y A B O A R D G A M E N R E K M M 
Y N B D L P Z R V H K M N N Q R M 
P A O B L A G I A A S G N I C H I 
A B M S Y N T Y M A P A I V A T E 
S B R E T T S P I E L O L U F E R 
P O R M I T S K N S O E T R M R D 
O R H G R I A V E O S A Z A K N O 
O L H C M V P U G N J P K J A I B 
R E M Z H A E H A A O P O A I N O 
T T A C O N S C I E N C E H R G K 
S A N Z S K I S R L G N G D C E O 
J D Z I T I E X R P H S Y Y R R C 
H L A T A T R R A M I R G S A S K 
B O N F G S D G M U A B L E F P A 

Winner is, who first discovered at least 5 valid triplets (5x3=15 words!).

Answers have to list the word-triplets and their according languages in brackets.

Bonus points if you discover more than that. There should be at least 6 valid triplets, but maybe there are more?

Bonus question: How many different valid languages can you find? (A language is considered valid, if it is spoken somewhere in Europe and if you discover at least one word with at least two translations found as well.) 9 different languages were deliberately used, but one can possibly find more than that.

  • $\begingroup$ If a word in the puzzle is the same in n European languages, then does it count once, or does it count n times? E.g. 'cafe' exists in both English and French. If it appears once then is that 1 language or 2? $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Dec 1 '14 at 16:09
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Very creative idea, so way to go on that! It could be tough for us non-polyglots, though. $\endgroup$
    – tjbtech
    Dec 1 '14 at 16:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "This time it is not complicated. No tricks, no brain bending involved. A simple, straight forward word-search puzzle to relax..." Are you sure? $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 1 '14 at 19:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @warspyking well, relaxing and simple for folk normally hanging around here ;/) $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 1 '14 at 19:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can't possibly solve this, but at least I learned some words in languages I knew nothing about so far. $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '14 at 21:58

As the answer is lengthy, I start with a table of contents:

Part 1: Explanation of my numbering system
Part 2: Numbering shown around the table of letters
Part 3: Program 8wayshow.py that displays numbered table and displays all text strings reoriented left to right

Parts 1 through 3 are shown in clear, with no spoilers so no need for hidden text.

Part 4: Plain-strings from the letter table as output by 8wayshow.py
Part 4 is in hidden text (rollover-revealed text) although it does not identify any words, merely shows text strings from the eight orientations reoriented for left-to-right reading. It is the reference table for numbered word references in part 5.

Part 5: Five triples (two new, three old) & some herrings (in hidden text)
Part 6: A bunch of words found (in hidden text)
Part 6 also includes half-a-dozen things that look to me like they might be wordlike in some language I don't know.

Part 1: Explanation of numbering system

In following, I numbered rows and columns from 0 to 16. In word references below, letters a...h represent eight orientations: → a, ← b, ↓ c, ↑ d, ↗ e, ↙ f, ↖ g, ↘ h.

Diagonals are numbered such that if row or column numbering continues forward and back and around corners as shown below, each diagonal with six or more letters can be identified by a number from 6 to 28. D6-D17 are of lengths 6...17. Some numbers align with axes of diagonals, others with first characters, others only obscurely.

For example, 6a aabotr is a right-ascending (↗) diagonal in line with two 6's and 16b leengpenvpaozzlb is a left-descending (↙) diagonal in line with two 16's. The right-descending (↘) diagonal 11h aoahsalrkio looks like it's in line with a top 5 and right 28; in a wrapped view, it also is in line with two 11's. To be less obscure (but rather more bulky) the table could be printed with four sets of label lines on each side.

Part 2: Numbering shown around the table of letters

       33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17
        0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
33  0   p  y  b  e  g  r  a  f  e  n  i  s  x  j  r  l  p   17 16
32  1   i  s  v  a  t  b  a  o  e  v  a  n  o  r  e  a  o   18 15
31  2   y  a  b  o  a  r  d  g  a  m  e  n  r  e  k  m  m   19 14
30  3   y  n  b  d  l  p  z  r  v  h  k  m  n  n  q  r  m   20 13
29  4   p  a  o  b  l  a  g  i  a  a  s  g  n  i  c  h  i   21 12
28  5   a  b  m  s  y  n  t  y  m  a  p  a  i  v  a  t  e   22 11
27  6   s  b  r  e  t  t  s  p  i  e  l  o  l  u  f  e  r   23 10
26  7   p  o  r  m  i  t  s  k  n  s  o  e  t  r  m  r  d   24  9
25  8   o  r  h  g  r  i  a  v  e  o  s  a  z  a  k  n  o   25  8
24  9   o  l  h  c  m  v  p  u  g  n  j  p  k  j  a  i  b   26  7
23 10   r  e  m  z  h  a  e  h  a  a  o  p  o  a  i  n  o   27  6
22 11   t  t  a  c  o  n  s  c  i  e  n  c  e  h  r  g  k   28  5
21 12   s  a  n  z  s  k  i  s  r  l  g  n  g  d  c  e  o   29  4
20 13   j  d  z  i  t  i  e  x  r  p  h  s  y  y  r  r  c   30  3
19 14   h  l  a  t  a  t  r  r  a  m  i  r  g  s  a  s  k   31  2
18 15   b  o  n  f  g  s  d  g  m  u  a  b  l  e  f  p  a   32  1
17 16   i  p  o  g  e  f  x  s  o  c  g  e  w  e  t  e  n   33  0
       17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
       16 15 14 13 12 11 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1  0

Part 3: Python program 8wayshow.py that displays numbered table and displays all text strings reoriented left to right

#!/usr/bin/env python
# Re http://puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/5763/international-wordsearch
t = ['pybegrafenisxjrlp', 'isvatbaoevanoreao', 'yaboardgamenrekmm',
     'ynbdlpzrvhkmnnqrm', 'paoblagiaasgnichi', 'abmsyntymapaivate',
     'sbrettspielolufer', 'pormitsknsoetrmrd', 'orhgriaveosazakno',
     'olhcmvpugnjpkjaib', 'remzhaehaaopoaino', 'ttaconsciencehrgk',
     'sanzskisrlgngdceo', 'jdzitiexrphsyyrrc', 'hlatatrramirgsask',
     'bonfgsdgmuablefpa', 'ipogefxsocgeweten']
tr = [''.join(reversed(s)) for s in t]

# Create u by transposing t
n = len(t);    d = 2*n-1        # n = #rows,  d = #diags
u = [''.join(t[i][j] for i in range(n)) for j in range(n)]
ur = [''.join(reversed(s)) for s in u]

# Rotate t +/- 45 degrees, returning result r
def rotor(rdir):
    r = []
    for i in range(5,n):
        x = [' ']*n
        for j in range(i+1):
            x[j] = t[i-j][j] if rdir else t[i-j][n-1-j]

    for i in range(n-6):
        x = [' ']*n
        for j in range(i+1,n):
            x[j-i-1] = t[n+i-j][j] if rdir else t[n+i-j][n-1-j]
    return r

v = rotor(1);   vr = [''.join(reversed(s)) for s in v]
w = rotor(0);   wr = [''.join(reversed(s)) for s in w]

def printhead(first,last,step):
    print '      ',
    for i in range(first,last,step):
        print '{:2}'.format(i),

for i in range(n):
    print '{:2} {:2}  '.format(d-i, i),
    for j in range(n):
        print '{:2}'.format(t[i][j]),
    print ' {:2} {:2}'.format(i+n, n-i-1)

for i in range(n):
    print '{:2} {} {} {} {}'.format(i, t[i], tr[i], u[i], ur[i])

for i in range(len(v)):
    print '{:2} {} {} {} {}'.format(i+6, v[i], vr[i], w[i], wr[i])

Part 4: Plain-strings from the letter table as output by 8wayshow.py
Part 4 is in hidden text (rollover-revealed text) although it does not identify any words, merely shows text strings from the eight orientations reoriented for left-to-right reading. It is the reference table for numbered word references in part 5.

0 pybegrafenisxjrlp plrjxsinefargebyp piyypaspoortsjhbi ibhjstroopsapyyip
1 isvatbaoevanoreao oaeronaveoabtavsi ysanabborletadlop poldatelrobbanasy
2 yaboardgamenrekmm mmkernemagdraobay bvbbomrrhhmanzano onaznamhhrrmobbvb
3 ynbdlpzrvhkmnnqrm mrqnnmkhvrzpldbny eaodbsemgczczitfg gftizczcgmesbdoae
4 paoblagiaasgnichi ihcingsaaigalboap gtallytirmhostage egatsohmrityllatg
5 abmsyntymapaivate etaviapamytnysmba rbrpanttivankitsf fstiknavittnaprbr
6 sbrettspielolufer refuloleipstterbs aadzgtssapesierdx xdreisepasstgzdaa
7 pormitsknsoetrmrd drmrteosnkstimrop fogriypkvuhcsxrgs sgrxschuvkpyirgof
8 orhgriaveosazakno onkazasoevairghro eeavaminegairramo omarriagenimavaee
9 olhcmvpugnjpkjaib biajkpjngupvmchlo nvmhaaesonaelpmuc cumpleanoseaahmvn
10 remzhaehaaopoaino oniaopoaaheahzmer iaeksplosjonghiag gaihgnojsolpskeai
11 ttaconsciencehrgk kgrhecneicsnocatt snnmgaoeappcnsrbe ebrsncppaeoagmnns
12 sanzskisrlgngdceo oecdgnglrsiksznas xornniltzkoegyglw wlgygeokztlinnrox
13 jdzitiexrphsyyrrc crryyshprxeitizdj jrenivurajahdysee eesydhajaruvinerj
14 hlatatrramirgsask ksasgrimarrtatalh rekqcafmkaircraft tfarcriakmfacqker
15 bonfgsdgmuablefpa apfelbaumgdsgfnob lamrhterningerspe epsregninrethrmal
16 ipogefxsocgeweten netewegcosxfegopi pommierdobokockan nakcokobodreimmop

6 aabotr rtobaa ehqeos soeqhe
7 sbodaba abadobs rtcnrni inrnctr
8 pbmblraf farlbmbp deainnan nanniaed
9 oorslpdoe eodplsroo orfvnmeve evemnvfro
10 orreyazgen negzayerro bnmuigkmef femkgiumnb
11 rlhmtngravi ivargntmhlr oikrlashaoa aoahsalrkio
12 tehgittivmas samvittighet knaatopavgar ragvapotaank
13 stmcrtsyahenx xnehaystrcmts ogijzelaardbg gbdraalezjigo
14 jaazmispmaknoj jonkampsimzaaj cerakaoemizrte etrzimeoakarec
15 hdnchvakiasmrrr rrrmsaikavhcndh krchopssiygpaab baapgyisspohcrk
16 blzzoapvnepgneel leengpenvpaozzlb asrdepjonptalovy yvolatpnojpedrsa
17 ioaisneueslannkap paknnalseuensiaoi npaygconeksnldbsp psbdlnskenocgyapn
18 pnttkshgoooiiqmo omqiioooghskttnp efsynnagvstybbai iabbytsvgannysfe
19 ofaiicanselvcrm mrcvlesnaciiafo tegsgeauattsony ynosttauaegsget
20 ggtesiajatuahm mhautajaisetgg elrhlihpiiemay yameiiphilhrle
21 esrxreopzrfti itfrzpoerxrse wbiprcevrmrbp pbrmrvecrpibw
22 fdrrlnpkamee eemakpnlrrdf eamrssamgrba abrgmassrmae
23 xgapgcojkrr rrkjocgpagx guaxinhchos sohchnixaug
24 smmhneaand dnaaenhmms cmrekozhrp prhzokermc
25 ouisghiio oiihgsiuo ogriscmlo olmcsirgo
26 carydrnb bnrdyrac sdttzaeo oeazttds
27 gbgycgo ogcygbg xsaintr rtniasx
28 elsrek kersle fgtzat taztgf

Part 5: Five triples & some herrings (in hidden text)

Two new triples:

04c hostage (English) 5c,13g
05c panttivanki (Finnish) hostage 4c,13g
13g gijzelaar (Dutch), hostage 4c,5c

01d robbanás (Hungarian), explosion 10c
10c eksplosjon (Norwegian Bokmål), an explosion 1d
13c rajahdys (Finnish), explosion 10c,1d

Three old triples (With credits to @w0lf; although I'd found the rest on my own, I'd missed a Czech word and a Norwegian word):

01b aeronave (Italian) dirigible; (Spanish/Portuguese) aircraft
01c letadlo (Czech) aircraft 14c,1b
14c aircraft (English) 1b,1c

11a conscience (English) 16a,12f
12f samvittighet (Norwegian Bokmaal) conscience 11a,16a
16a geweten (Dutch) conscience 11a,12f

02c manzano (Spanish) apple tree 15b
15b apfelbaum (German) apple tree 2c,16c
16c pommier (French) apple tree 2c,15b


00a begrafenis (Dutch), burial, funeral 20f
20f hautajaiset (Finnish) funeral, memorial service; wake 0a

00c paspoort (Dutch), passport etc 6d
06d reisepass (German) passport 0c
07a pormit ? (eg for 0c, 6d)

01a svatba (Czech), wedding 8d
08d marriage (English) 1a

05a syntymapaivat (Finnish), birthday 9d
09d cumpleanos (Asturian) & (Spanish) birthday 5a

02a boardgame (English) 6a
06a brettspiel (German) board game 2a

15c terning (Norwegian Bokmål/Nynorsk) a die or dice 16c
16c dobokocka (Hungarian), (games) dice 15c

Part 6: A bunch of words found (in hidden text)

00a begrafenis Dutch, burial, funeral 20f
00c paspoort Dutch, passport etc 6d
00c spoort Dutch, ?, in spoort na/op/aan
00d stroop Dutch, syrup
01a svatba Czech, wedding 8d
01b aeronave Italian dirigible; Spanish/Portuguese aircraft 14c,1c ##
01c letadlo Czech aircraft ## 14c,1b
01d robbanás Hungarian, explosion 10c
02a boardgame 6a
02c manzano Spanish apple tree 15b
04c hostage 5c,13g ##
04e yazgen ? like Spanish yazgan
05a syntyma Finnish birth
05a paivat Finnish an inexact time; eg syntyma paivat = ~birthday ? 9d
05c panttivanki Finnish hostage 4c,13g ##
06a brettspiel German board game 2a
06c pesier ? like Italian pesiera, pesiere set of weights
06d reisepass German passport 0c
07a pormit ? (eg for 0c, 6d)
08a riaveo ?
08d marriage 1a
08d agenim ?
09d cumpleanos Asturian & Spanish birthday 5a
10a haehaa ? like Danish haehae, haha
10c eksplosjon Norwegian Bokmål, an explosion 1d
11a conscience 16a,12f ##
11f vittighet ? like Danish joke, witticism, pun
12a sanzskisr ?
12c niltzkoegy ?
12f samvittighet Norwegian, Bokmaal 11a,16a ## conscience
13d ruvine Friulian, ruin
13g gijzelaar Dutch, hostage 4c, 5c ##
14c aircraft 1b,1c
15a muable French mutable
15b apfelbaum German apple tree 2c,16c ##
15c terning Norwegian Bokmål/Nynorsk a die or dice 16c
15d regnin Catalan ~ to reign, to rule
16a ipoge ? like Italian cavern?
16a geweten Dutch conscience 11a,12f ##
16b netewe Kurdish, nation
16c pommier French apple tree 2c,15b ##
16c dobokocka Hungarian, (games) dice 15c
16f leengpen, Myanmar
18h Gannys = name of a Roman general
20f hautajaiset Finnish funeral, memorial service; wake 0a

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for an answer that is much longer than the question :c) And also for the very systematic approach. Still waiting for the "finals" though, okay? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 3 '14 at 19:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For languages, it looks like Czech Dutch Finnish French German Hungarian Italian Norwegian Spanish have words that are integral parts of pairs or triples. Portuguese aeronave is one word of a triple and Asturian cumpleanos is one word of a pair but those words are in other languages also, so they are less integral. $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '14 at 23:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for summarizing the languages. The nine intentionally used languages are English, Spanish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Finnish, German, French, Dutch, Czech. But as noted in the puzzle, similarity of languages open up more possibilities. $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 4 '14 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ BmyGuest, I was unable to locate a sixth triple, but saw a few more words or word parts not yet listed in my answer (eg troops; eg ogrisc part of Croation ogrisci). I updated my code so may update it in a few days. $\endgroup$ Dec 6 '14 at 19:49

So far, I managed to find these triplets:


MANZANO (Spanish) - column 3
POMMIER (French) - column 17
APFELBAUM (German) - line 16


GEWETEN (Dutch) - line 17
CONSCIENCE (English) - line 12
SAMVITTIGHET (Norwegian, Bokmaal) - line 1, col 12, diagonal towards SW


AERONAVE (French) - line 2
AIRCRAFT (English) - column 15
LETADLO (Czech) - column 2

Potential candidates/red herrings:



HOSTAGE (English)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice. All valid and good progress. (Plus you've identified 5 of 9 languages.) +1 for being the first to post some results in a cooperative spirit. $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 2 '14 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ ..and now its 7/9 languages. You're getting closer! $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 3 '14 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest I've had lots of fun working on this. I wish I had more time to find the others. Thank you for this great puzzle! ;) $\endgroup$ Dec 7 '14 at 15:30

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