Word Search Puzzles
We see them in our daily newspaper. Those rectangular or square grids full of letters that at first glance, appear to be from an optometrist’s eye chart. Letters that have no rhyme or reason, but look closer. Is that a word in there?
Millions of people would feel incomplete without their daily word search puzzle. Also known as WordSeek, WordFind, WonderWord, Word Sleuth or Mystery Word, the word search puzzle has become a fixture on the comic page of nearly every newspaper.
A word search puzzle is a word game that is comprised of letters in a grid, usually in a rectangular or square shape. The puzzle solver’s objective is to find and mark a list of words that are arrayed in various alignments within the grid. The words may be horizontally, vertically or diagonally displayed. Many word search puzzles have a theme to which all the hidden words are related, such as holidays or special events.
Word search puzzles can be found in daily newspapers, but dozens of puzzle books are produced solely for the word search puzzle aficionado. They are also used in schools, teachers finding them beneficial as educational tools for children, encouraging students to learn new words by seeking them out letter by letter, improving spelling skills as well.
Word search puzzles have also made their presence felt online. There are hundreds of websites devoted to word and puzzle games, and word search puzzles are prominently featured. Some of the more popular are listed below.
There are various strategies the puzzle solver can utilize when attempting to solve word search puzzles. The most basic strategy is to scan the word rows from left to right (or vice-versa), looking for the first letter of the desired word. After finding the first letter, look at the surrounding letters to see if the next letter is there. This method can then be repeated from row to row. Another popular strategy is to look for “outstanding” or rarely used letters in words, such as Q, X, or Y. Also, finding double letters in words often make finding the sought-after word easier.
The original designer of word search puzzles is generally attributed to Norman E. Gibat of Norman, Oklahoma.
His first word search puzzle was published March 1, 1968 in the Selenby Digest, a small want-ad circular distributed free at area Safeway grocery stores and local businesses.
Category: Word Search Puzzles