The triplet is a type of word puzzle based on a psychological test of flexible thinking and creativity. It is a set of three words that are linked by a common fourth word.

Here's an example:

  • SNOW

What word links these three words? The linking word should appear before or after each of the three words to form well-known compound words or phrases.

The solution for this triplet is WHITE, as in white elephant, White House, and Snow White.

Here are three more triplets. See if you can fInd the linking word for each of them. Remember that the linking word may appear either before or after each word in the triplet:


Here are the correct solutions:

  • BLACK (blackboard, black hole, blackjack)
  • CROSS (double cross, crossroad, and cross-stitch)
  • MATCH (matchmaker, tennis match, match stick)


When it comes to solving triplets puzzles, an intuitive approach usually works better than a logical, systematic approach.

Skim through the triplets and write down the link words that immediately pop into your mind. Make another pass to solve the other triplets.

Remember that the link word could appear either before or after the other words (as in White House and Snow White). The link word could also be a part of a compound word as a common phrase (as in dealership and cruise ship).

If you get stuck on a triplet, give up and attack some other triplet. Sometimes, the harder you try, the tougher it becomes to find the linking word. So don't get fixated on one item.

If the chunks puzzle has a title, it may provide a valuable clue about the message. Y pu may use the title to complete the message and identify the first letters of remaining link words.

Work with a partner or a team. It's amazing how different perspectives speed up the process of discovering different link words.

Triplets To Solve

Download a triplet puzzle (PDF; opens in a new window). Print it out and solve it. When you are done, the first letters of the link words will form an important message.