To create a chunks puzzle, we take a sentence and cut it up into three-character chunks (including spaces and punctuation marks). We arrange the chunks in a random order.  Solve the puzzle by rearranging the chunks to form a sentence.


  • Locate the last chunk from the end of the sentence. This chunk will contain a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. You can work backward from this chunk. Look for other chunks that could precede this chunk.
  • Any chunk that begins with a space is the beginning of a new word. Look for other chunks that could follow this chunk.
  • A three-letter chunk could be a complete word (such as and, are, the, but) or a part of a longer word. Try placing other chunks before and after the three-letter chunk.
  • If you have discovered a chunk that looks like the beginning of a word, the chunk that comes before it should end with a space. Or the word should be the first word in the sentence.
  • If a chunk ends with an apostrophe the next letter is most likely an S (as in LET'S) or a T (as in CAN'T). Sometimes the apostrophe may be followed by LL (as in WE'LL), or VE (as in I'VE).
  • If a chunk ends with a comma or a semicolon, the next chunk should begin with a space.
  • If the chunks puzzle has a title, it may provide a valuable clue. Use the title to guess the content of the message.
  • When you have discovered a few words, use the context to suggest additional words. For example, if one of the words is play, you are likely to find the word game somewhere in the sentence.
  • You may cut out the chunks and physically move them around.
  • If you don't want to cut out the chunks, work out the solution on a separate piece of paper. Write down different words and phrases and rearrange them into a sentence later. Put a mark next to the chunks that you have already incorporated in your solution.
  • Work with a partner or a team. It's amazing how different perspectives speed up the process of solving the puzzle.

Solve a Chunks Puzzle

Download a chunks puzzle on the aging process (PDF; opens in a new window). Print out this puzzle and solve it.