We're presented with what looks like three wordsearches, but it quickly becomes apparent there aren't many interesting words hidden in each. Closer examination reveals there are other words hidden in the grid if you allow turning at corners or snaking around the grid, but there's no obvious reason this sort of extrapolation should be allowed.
The key here is to notice we can actually completely partition the grids in this way into common five-letter words. This is somewhat confirmed by the size of each grid being area 60 (a multiple of 5), and the title ("Pent Up" can describe things fenced together, and "pent-" hints at the Greek prefix for five). Furthermore, these partitionings can be done in such a way that the grid is broken into the twelve free pentominoes (with no repeated shapes). These are shown below:
What this has done is turn each grid into a set of 12 words, which furthermore have a well-defined order since we can take pieces as we come across them travelling left-right, top-bottom along any grid. In fact if we order the pieces in this way, looking at the first letter (again reading left-right, top-bottom) of each piece spells out a message across the three grids, namely IF TILE CONTAINS OWN LETTER, USE ONE ON RIGHT.
Each free pentomino has a canonical letter name based on its appearance. The message seems to tell us to check each pentomino and whether it contains that letter. For example, LUCKY in the first grid is on the Y-shaped pentomino, so looking to the right of that letter Y we extract the letter Q.
Altogether we get the answer QUINTESSENCE, which uses the Latin prefix for five and describes amongst other things the fifth classical element or "building block", aether.
|The answer is: quintessence|