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Super Search Nine!

Imagine a word-search, but you've got to figure out the words, too! Meet the SUPER SEARCH!

In this hexagonal grid, there are 36 HIDDEN words (forwards, backwards, or diagonally) that fall under SIX categories. Circle the answers as you find them -- like with a traditional word-search, letters can be used in multiple words.

When you are finished, there will be SIX letters that aren't used in any words, which, when written in order, will give you a FINAL CODE to enter to earn this badge!

Your SIX word categories (with SIX words each):

  • Island Nations
  • Systems of the Human Body
  • Superheroes with One-Word Names
  • Gardening Tools
  • Film Genres
  • Instruments in a Symphony Orchestra

None of the answers are plural. Note that if a superhero has the word "The" as part of their name, it means they do not have a one-word name! However, heroes that have names made up of compound words (i.e. Batman) are valid answers.

Learn more about how to solve these puzzles!

Here's a printer-friendly version! (You definitely want to print these puzzles, or stop by the library and we're happy to print them for you!)

Large hexagonal grid of letters


This badge has been awarded to 938 players

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I love these puzzles! I do have one small piece of feedback - I don't want to give anything away but I was a little sad there wasn't more diversity of superheroes (gender & ethnicity). I'm sure it's really hard to make these puzzles though so total respect and awesome job, it just would be cool to have some more representation! :)

Hi Hannah! I totally understand where you're coming from. You're right, though, that making these puzzles is pretty complicated. A long list of potential one-named superheroes gets whittled down to a small list of things that end up fitting (and not accidentally creating unintended words too!)

But you're giving me some category ideas for next year's crop of puzzles ... :)

Thanks for playing!!!

One of the superheroes has a 2-syllable name. The second syllable is also something you use in the garden. ...especially during fall clean-up. I stared at that clue for a long time before realizing the accidental overlap.

Hmmmm, I'm not sure I know what superhero you're talking about! Though four the the superheroes in the puzzle have two-syllable names, none of those second syllables are garden tools! I suspect this may stop you from being able to fully solve the puzzle -- please email with your list of words found if it's giving you trouble!! HAPPY PUZZLING!!!

Thank you so much for these puzzles! They have been a highlight of the past few weeks. I appreciate the effort that goes into them and that they’re a part of the summer game.

Further comment and question for y’all.
Again, thank you for these. I haven’t been this engaged in a type of puzzle since the Great Sudoku Craze of ‘16.
For the question: is there a specific name for this type of word search? I am looking around The ‘Net and only finding these puzzles as the top hits. Did you invent these?!

I'm so glad you've been enjoying them!

Last December, the New York Times had one of the cover of their annual Puzzle insert (created by Will Shortz), which they called...drumroll please...A SUPER SEARCH! I enjoyed it so much, I tried to find more and couldn't find any! So I decided to try my hand at making them myself.

But it would be wonderful if more crop up somewhere. They are a puzzle in themselves to make, but it would be nice to play some too! We've contacted the NYT Puzzle Department to say that if they HAPPENED to make more, we have a whole community of folks in Ann Arbor ravenous to play them! Who knows if they'll do anything with that info, but WE CAN HOPE!!!

Thanks for making all of these and for contacting the NYT puzzle department on our behalf! I got a bunch of my family members into them. My mom happened to be doing at my grandpa's assisted living home and got the former school teachers there into them also! There is certainly a big community who are very much enjoying all your hard work!!

This one took me a while! One of the Island Nation names includes a word that could be considered a punny answer in the Gardening Tools category. Once I sorted that out at the end, it all clicked into place.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Ambitious 4 of out 4 difficulty

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