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A standard nonlinear, non-clued wordsearch. Similar to the Cluelessly searching for words series, but here letters can be used by multiple words.

Rules

  • The words can run in any direction (orthogonal or diagonal) and do not have to be in straight lines
  • Words cannot use the same tile twice, but words can cross other words
  • No words are contained inside of other words (e.g. no "at" and "cat")
  • All words are common singular English nouns on a certain theme
  • The 3 letters left over after all words (14 total) are found form a word opposite the theme

$$\texttt{B D A C E Z} \\\texttt{E S Y H O G} \\\texttt{K A C O E L} \\\texttt{B E R U H L} \\\texttt{L O T Y C A} \\\texttt{H D S G M P}$$

This is my first puzzle! I hope it's not too hard. If you have any tips I'd be happy to hear them. Also - are they any more tags that I should use?

Starter hint

The "Z" in a corner is part of a word

Word-length hint

On further consideration, here are the lengths of the hidden words: 3 3-letter words, 2 4-letter words, 4 5-letter words, 3 6-letter words, and 2 7-letter words

Note: if anyone wants to make their own puzzles like this, I made a simple java program AdjLetters.java which reads in words from a file and prints out the number of times each letter is adjacent to others. It lets you easily see which letters absolutely need to be next to each other.

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    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of boggle :) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 26 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil, that's the inspiration - but unlike Boggle, all the words are themed. Also, no one will play Boggle with me :(. Hopefully someone tries the puzze! $\endgroup$ – bobble May 26 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with boggle is that there are so many possible words, especially for larger grids, meaning it could be very difficult to find the intended ones. There are well over 1000 4+ letter words in this grid for instance. This could be very difficult $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 26 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ The hope is that when you get a few words, and the theme is obvious, the other words should come quickly. I used pretty broad nouns, and there are few words in the theme. $\endgroup$ – bobble May 26 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ This is being boggly for me. I'm finding a bunch of words that don't seem related. Well, some seem related, others not so much. Like rot13(fpbhg naq pnzc, naq orne naq mbb, ohg nyfb pnfxrg naq fpnel naq pbyyrtr). $\endgroup$ – shoover May 27 at 0:55
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The following 14 words can all be found within the grid (with coordinates of starting letter, row then column, with top row = 1 and leftmost column = 1):

3-letters: ZOO (1,6), BAR (4,1), GYM (6,4)
4-letters: CAMP (5,5), MALL (6,5)
5-letters: COURT (3,3), BEACH (4,1), HOTEL (6,1), STORE (6,3)
6-letters: SCHOOL (2,2), BAKERY (4,1), CHURCH (5,5)
7-letters: DAYCARE (1,2), COLLEGE (1,4)

Bearing in mind the title, these are all:

Places/facilities which have been closed in many countries during the COVID-19 outbreak.

What remains after removing these words is:

The one place you are still definitely allowed to be: BED! (1,1), (2,1), (6,2)

Solution diagrams:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I was about to go through this solution but I thought no word cannot contain another word e.g. rot13(qnlpner) contains rot13(qnl) and rot13(pner) so I stopped. But I might have misunderstood the rules :(. $\endgroup$ – MervS May 27 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ @MervS Pretty sure what the OP means is that no sequence of letters that forms a whole word hidden deliberately in this puzzle can be found in the same order and consecutively within another of the deliberately hidden words, which is why (e.g.) rot13(jr jbhyqa'g unir ONE naq ONEorefubc (vs vg jrer gurer) ohg pna unir ONE naq ONxrEl, jurer gur yrggref qb abg nccrne pbafrphgviryl). $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 27 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I see. Beware of too much generalization next time for me. Great puzzling nonetheless. $\endgroup$ – MervS May 27 at 11:48
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    $\begingroup$ I'm so happy someone got it! And yes, @Stiv had the correct interpretation of the no word-within-a-word rule. $\endgroup$ – bobble May 27 at 14:30

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