On Friday I posted this puzzle….which word in the second line best fits in the first line?

All, Board, Cast, Charge, Land, Rate

Vision, Future, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now.  For everyone else, the answer is after the break.

The answer is Sight – all of the words in the first line make sense when you add the word ‘Over’ in front of them….as does ‘Sight’.  Did you solve it?  Any other answers?


I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle (UK here and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.


    1. Yeah I had Taste one too because of the A.
      I pretty much gave up tackling word semantics as I rarely figure them out anyway (I’m danish).

    2. I’m with you on this one – I chose taste as it was the only one that shared the letter “a” with the first set of words. I’d say it’s at least as good an answer as the official one. Occam’s razor – choose the simplest option.

      Now where’s that guy who commendated on my post saying there would only be one clear answer and my suggestion that there would be several was nonsense.

    3. Count me in with the “A” crowd – all too often here, the official solution requires one not to over-think matters.

      As a slightly weaker answer, one could give “Future” as that is not one of the human senses and fits better with the semantic jumble of the first line.

    4. I had “taste” too, for the same reason.

      @Michael Sternberg — “Future” also works, if the rule is “starts with one of the first 18 letters of the alphabet”.

    5. taste! I started with the basics – finding common letters, vowels ,etc. The thought of ‘over’ would have never striked.

    6. I didn’t get the answer this week. I did spot that taste had an “A” in it like the words on the first line, but reckoned this was WAY TOO OBVIOUS to be the correct answer. 😉

    7. Taste is just as correct an answer as the official solution. In fact I would argue it’s a simpler and more direct answer and therefore meets the “best fits” requirement rather better.

    8. Here I am Steve Jones, eating humble pie. The answer I was confident about was the ‘A’ answer by the way, so we’re agreed about that. Please accept apologies.

    9. After having read the (official) “answer”, I still prefer to stick with my own and join the “A” crowd. It was obvious the proposed solution would not be “Taste”, but the “over” explanation sounds so incredibly far-fetched! I would gladly recognize having missed the point if the answer had suddenly revealed some hidden trick, joke or play-on-words, but this time I’m not ready to make the effort!

      Which reminds me that I’ve never quite understood why (popular) IQ tests included so many of those “please find the element that will logically follow” questions. How convincing is the (self-proclaimed) “logics” of those? In a series of four or five items, you can find lots of similarities and common points (the typical joke “what’s the difference.between … and …?” leaves me similarly skeptical, but good humour usually prevents my grumbling too hard 😉 !).

      In the best case, ok, there can be some Occam’s razor explanation (and I wish to insist that this is a best-case scenario, since I’m unsure the metrics used to measure this explanation’s simplicity would satisfy everyone – and be devoid of considerations like culture, language, etc.). However does it mean we should blindly apply this law of parsimony? Does its usefulness in the field of science also make it the norm for / command its use in all instances of everyday life???

    10. @Maitre Lupin

      Not sure what is so “incredibly far-fetched” about the words overall, overboard, overcast, overcharge, overland, overrate, and oversight. They can all be found in just about every English dictionary.

      Over-dramatic meethinks!

    11. @Camel Ali

      What I see as far-fetched is not the words themselves, but the idea to even think of those words in this context.

      Honestly, where does “over-” come from? Could anything in the words themselves or the wording of the question hint to it? As @Stephen Barnes says below, “seems more logical to get an answer based on the properties of what you’re told, rather than have to add something arbitrary into the mix…” (but then what IS logical, right?).

      It does look to me like we’re summoning the prefix out of thin air. You explain the words can be found in a dictionary; true, but why would we even open a dictionary? Why should the puzzle be a vocabulary issue rather than a question of spelling, for instance?

      What’s more, the “A” property is more obvious to a non-native English speaker. Hence the point about cultural considerations and the like…

    12. @ Maitre Lupin.

      Would I be correct in saying you are not a native English speaker? If so, then I agree that a word puzzle in the English language would be much more difficult for you than, say, a maths puzzle. I certainly could not do a word puzzle in french! I applaud you for trying.

      For a natural English speaker the puzzle set by Richard Wiseman should be more obvious as it follows a set pattern of numerous similar puzzles, solved by relating a group of words to another related word. In saying this, I frankly admit I did not get the “correct” solution myself, but I knew what to expect of the answer.

      Others on this page have argued that the “A” answer is a correct solution. They have a point, as the answer satisfies the conditions of the puzzle. Richard Wisemans answer is more difficult for non native English speakers, but in my opinion, is a more elegant and less simplistic solution. However I concede that in this case I appear to be in a minority. 🙂

  1. is easy when you remember kenneth wolverston saying “they think it all over”

    with this english memory, the answer is just there.

  2. I went for ‘over’ and figured that’s the answer Richard would offer, but as with most of these puzzles you can make a reasonable case for almost any answer. Some answers will have the merit of simplicity (as in the ‘letter A’ answers) while some will have the merit of ingenuity and creativity.

    Someone has suggested that it’s important with this sort of puzzle to ensure there is a single, unique solution. I doubt that this is possible. One can always make a case for an alternative answer, and indeed in a ‘creative thinking’ exercise this would be the whole point.

  3. In every case in the top line, the penultimate letter is higher in the alphabet than the first letter. Of the second line, the only one where this is the case in “Future” so it could be that. Obviously I had a little too much time on my hands, but it’s surprising how many of these pop up.

    Other than that I thought “Future” for the reason that all the other words in the second line are senses so “Future” doesn’t belong. By default I decided it therefore should belong to the first line, as that’s the only place we find non-human-senses.

    1. I also thought ‘future’. I saw it that everything in the first line was linked to seeing future, where-as the second line had words relating to an actual sense, as in sight.

    2. I also chose future fore the same reason. Even in retrospect, it seems like a simpler solution than adding over.

  4. I’m with “Sight”, as it fits with “over”, mentioned above.

    OVER-All, OVER-Board, OVER-Cast, OVER-Charge, OVER-Land, OVER-Rate, OVER-Sight

  5. ‘Over-rate’? Really? Is that meant to mean ‘to rate something too highly’? Surely by that token ‘over-smell’ should be just as valid as ‘to smell something too much’. I went with ‘taste’ because of the ‘A’. Occam’s razor and all that.

  6. Got it, but for a different reason. The top line of words had, generally, a nautical feel. One “sights” land. It’s tenuous, admittedly, but you’ve got all-aboard, cast as in net or anchor, to sight land, depth charge, and rate of knots.

    I clearly went through some unnecessary mental gymnastics with this one.

  7. Here’s another (equally valid) solution: Future

    All words in the top line start with letters A-R.

    Words in the bottom line start with letters S-Z.

  8. Well I got ‘Sight’ as being the word that fitted in best but never got near to ‘over’ being the reason.

    To my (slightly strange) mind all the words from the list seemed to have some naval/seafaring connotation and ‘Sight’ seemed to fit that link as well. I made the link pretty much straightaway on reading the question.

    (N.B. Just read Rachel’s post above and she apparently came to the same conclusion – yay I am not alone!)

  9. I went with the “sight” answer due to the “over-” approach as well. But I can understand the reason for those who went with the “taste” answer because it had the letter “a” in it.

    Not making a question specific enough to have only a single clear answer is also what’s wrong with a lot of IQ tests out there. Most IQ tests I’ve tried makes assumptions about how one’s mind works that have more to do about having done enough IQ tests previously to know what answer is expected, rather than one’s actual intelligence.

  10. over-rate is term from english game cricket. you think richard wiseman english, connection is easy.

    over-rate means how many overs an hour. cricket is like tennis, but only one bat. every six throws the batter gives bat to opposite batter and retires to drink tea. this six throws is called on over.

  11. Came up with two solutions:

    1. Taste, because of the “a”
    2. Future, as it is the only word in the 2nd line that is not one of the senses, and none of the words in the first line are words for one of the senses.

  12. I initially selected ‘taste’ because of the a. I didn’t think that would be the official answer, so I did later get sight for the reason given. But I don’t think the official answer’s very good. Being able to follow ‘over-‘ isn’t really a very significant property of these words, if it is really a property of them at all. So I’d go with ‘taste’ as being the better answer.

    1. Bill,

      A pedant might spot that the wording of the question is “which word in the second line best fits IN the first line?”, not at the end of it. Using your theory of arranging the words in alphabetical order, the word we seek should start with a letter between A and R in the alphabet (between All and Rate). The only word in the second line which fits the bill is Future.

      Saying that, I think your answer is better than “They all have an A in them”. Certainly more thought went into it.

  13. I was also on the “Taste” group based on phonetics, single syllable with an ‘a’… If Taste had been the answer, and someone had come with the idea of adding OVER to make Sight fit, the crowd would have eaten him up.

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