#atozchallenge: Unjumble

There’s no "official" definition of unjumble in the Free Dictionary, but there is for jumble, which is "to throw together carelessly," or "to muddle." Ergo, to unjumble is to undo the jumbling.

A very popular feature in newspapers for many years is the Jumble. You usually find it not far from the crossword puzzle, the horoscopes, the bridge column by Charles A. Goren and Omar Sharif (yes, that one) and, in more modern newspapers, the sudoku.

Lord Belbury, scientist cartoon by BAUSCHRON, desk cartoon by RICARDO PISANO, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You have four anagrammed words in this puzzle, and the first step is to figure them out and plug them into the boxes underneath, then take the circled letters, unscramble them, and that gives you the answer for the day. The unscrambled words are CRAYON, MINDS, TINNY, and BREACH. The circled letters are


Given the creators’ penchant for making the final answer something clever, we can then determine that the circled letters can be rearranged to form the phrase "NO CHEMISTRY."

I didn’t do all of this myself, by the way: I used this letter unscrambler to help.

Wikipedia tells us:

Jumble was created in 1954 by Martin Naydel, who was better known for his work on comic books. It originally appeared under the title “Scramble.”[3] Henri Arnold and Bob Lee took over the feature in 1962 and continued it for at least 30 years. As of 2013, Jumble was being maintained by David L. Hoyt and Jeff Knurek. Jumble is one of the most valuable properties of its distributor, US company Tribune Content Agency, which owns the JUMBLE trademarks and copyrights. Daily and Sunday Jumble puzzles appear in over 600 newspapers in the United States and internationally.

And, of course you can play online!

Games like Jumble, crosswords, word find, sudoku, kakuro etc. are very good to keep your mind sharp as you get older. They may seem like a waste of time, but when you come right down to it, you’re preserving your sanity with them.

Do you do any of these pencil puzzles or word games, either on paper, on your smartphone, or while sitting at the computer?

See you tomorrow with V!

41 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Unjumble

  1. I am a wordle girl. My husband and I play it each morning. We challenge each other to see who can get it done in the fewest turns. I also like to find online crossword puzzles.


  2. I was never good atvthis word game. I’ve done the wordle ones and I like the game where you have to figure out the quote from the wrong letters used.


  3. I used to do Jumbles all time time, even bought the paperback puzzle books. I was pretty good. Now I just suffer through Words with Friends, trying to unjumble too many vowels or too many consonants.

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  4. It seems just about any word (especially verbs) can have the prefix “un-” added to it to mean the opposite. Some I can’t stand hearing though, like using “unstuck” as a verb, instead of saying “get it unstuck.” Or “unsee”–I’d rather say. “get it out f my mind.”

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  5. I play free Solitaire on two phones (1 dead) without WiFi. (Oddly, I do lots of thinking throughout!) I used to treat myself to Dell’s mags — hard crossword puzzles are great, but I loved the jumbles, too — and everything else but word search.

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    1. Same here. First it was just Scrabble, then it was Wordle, then Dordle, then Quordle, then Sequence, then Blossom…

      As my daughter (another word game addict) said, “Who needs cocaine when the internet keeps giving us free new word games that can also keep us up partying all night?”

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    1. All fun stuff. I’m not so good with the cryptograms, I think because I think too hard. A lot of the newspaper features have moved online, so look for them there, and some are available as apps for your phone.

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  6. I love these kinds of games, what I’d always call pencil puzzles. I’m good at crosswords, but those jumbles are for some reason very hard for me. I have whole books of them and can’t get past the first few. haha :)


    1. Every month, I’d buy Dell Crosswords and Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games at the airport before leaving on business. I’d spend most of the month just filling them up. All that fun for under $5 a month… who’d be without? I should’ve subscribed…

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  7. This looks like fun. When I got a daily paper, I used to enjoy the anagram, step word, and sun dials. Now I do the daily NY Wordle and also suduku, cribbage and a variety of patience games on the computer.

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    1. It’s a fun little puzzle. I play a lot of computer soliaire and do a lot of sudoku on my phone. Mary plays Candy Crush, which is nothing more than a way to separate us from our money….

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