A New Kind of Word Puzzle

I enjoy rearranging the letters of word scrambles to form words. Sometimes while I was giving physical science exams I would stare at the periodic table and see if I could make words from the symbols. For example, you can make the words CrYPtIC, VErBAl, ThErMoDyNAmICs, BRaIn PoWEr, ThEsAuRuS, and thousands of others. My favorite “chemical word” is ScAtTeRbRaIn — a 12-letter word made from 6 symbols. My coauthor, Carolyn Kivett, and I have published a series of puzzle books featuring chemical words. The first books of this series are called Chemical Word Scrambles, and come in Easy, Medium, and Hard volumes. What we enjoy about these books is that they allow us to use a vocabulary of longer words (compared to ordinary word scrambles) without increasing the difficulty of the puzzle. For example, it’s easier to unscramble the 6 symbols Tb-In-S-Ru-H-Pa to form the chemical word PaInTbRuSH than it is to unscramble the 10 letters t-b-i-n-s-r-u-h-p-a to form the ordinary word paintbrush.