Whether you’re playing a game of Scrabble or trying to figure out what those kids are saying, chances are that at some point you’ll have to deal with an unscrambled word. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how to do this correctly. Deciphering the letters of a word or phrase can be tricky, especially if you’re just looking at those letters without any other context. The solution lies in understanding how language works and how decryption specifically works in the context of language. Hopefully, once you’ve finished reading this article and looking at the examples, you’ll never have trouble deciphering other words again!
As a last resort, you can use apps that decipher letters into words, but where’s the fun in that?
So here’s what you need to watch out for, let’s dive in!
Recognize word fragments and smaller words
One of the methods you can use to better understand deciphered words is to learn to recognize word fragments and smaller words that you can rely on.
For example: let’s take a look at ULNHAGLI. At first it seems like a clunky sentence, but it contains some word fragments that we can use to create a suitable word. Mainly, letter combinations such as “HA” and “LI”
This is a good way to use these fragments as a starting block for a word, and in this case we get:
The general rule would be to look for commonalities prefixes and suffixes.
You can find popular English prefixes and suffixes with a little research and the help of a reliable dictionary.
So why should you do this? In statistical terms, removing the characters associated with a prefix or suffix from the stack can reduce the sortability of the remaining characters. This is called permutations (all possible arrangements) in mathematics. There are many more ways to rearrange six letters into unique sequences than there are four. You can even remove certain characters by grouping them into prefixes or suffixes so that the words are easier to decipher in your head. The remaining letters can then be played with and eliminated until you find the sequence that will unravel the word. If you manage to find a suitable suffix or prefix, remove it and see what you can find.
Besides being useful for deciphering words, understanding roots also expands your vocabulary. For example, even if you don’t know what a particular word means, if you understand the roots of the word, the prefixes and suffixes it contains, and its grammatical structure, you might still be able to make an educated guess about its meaning. If you are still struggling, don’t despair, there are word unscramblers that will help you untangle words in no time.
Search for vowels and consonants
The vowels in the word can also build a framework for other letters. Why are vowels useful? Each syllable must contain at least one, and the remaining letters often fall into familiar patterns. Besides the usual suspects (A E I O U), most English words and syllables (important parts of words) consist of vowels with consonants on one or both sides. Therefore, if there are few vowels or fewer vowels than consonants, there are very few ways to combine words. Put some consonants in the pattern, put the vowels in the middle, and try moving the letters around.
You will also start to see common patterns. For example, “consonant-vowel – consonant-vowel” because this combination is a big case of four-letter words in the English language.
The letter S has two functions, so it’s a bit tricky. Whenever we see an S, we can use it to form a syllable in the word it forms, or add it to the end of the last word to make it plural. This is one of the reasons why the letter S is generally the most useful letter in Scrabble.
As an example of how this method works, given the word Scramble VAEWS, it recognizes the “VE” model. After rearranging the characters, we get _VE_. When constructing the rest of the word, the first letter we write is the A (in front of the V, the most logical way to keep consonants in a word): _AVE_. Test the rest by placing them in the remaining two spaces. By exchanging the letters, we finally get WAVES a word that is familiar to us.
Another trick we can use to construct words is to place one of the vowels in the word in the 2nd position of the unscrambled word and test other consonants around it.
If you find yourself running out of mental energy and don’t want to ruin your mojo, here’s a quick list of fun and useful apps for your Android that you can use to boost your jamming problem solving skills.
A common theme in all of these tips and tricks is to use your knowledge of the English language to simplify the problem to reduce the number of ways to decipher the words.
We can achieve this through:
Locate the following letter pattern.
Sort the sequences of characters you already know. Fewer characters increase your chances of spotting a pattern that you can apply to guess the password.
Overall, the main thing is to try to have fun, so if you’re feeling exhausted, take a moment to relax or try something else. If you’re looking for versatility, check out these 10 awesome word games to help you maintain your brain energy bar.
We hope you find this article useful and that you can use this information when you find yourself stuck in a word maze and want to get out of it in a heartbeat.