I remember loving when a school assignment involved some sort of puzzle. I remember crosswords that were made up of that week’s vocabulary or spelling words. I also remember math assignments that had a riddle. As you answered the math problems, the answers corresponded with letters that you’d fill in, and it would eventually give you the answer to the riddle.
I have loved puzzles for as long as I can remember. My mom used to do Word Search Puzzles. There was a book of them, as I remember, up at my grandma’s place in Caseville. You’d find the word and draw a big circle around it.
Speaking of Caseville, my brother and I always seemed to go to this one place in town and get these invisible ink books full of puzzles. You ran this pen over answers, letters, and such and solve puzzles.
I don’t remember how old I was when I discovered Games Magazine. I used to buy it all the time.
At first I did the word searches, the cartoon puzzles involving puns, and eyeball benders, which were usually pictures of something familiar taken really close up and you had to guess what it was. Then I tried my hand at crosswords. I wasn’t too good at those. I was, however, good at crosswords that were TV themed. In other words, the one that could be found in the back of my grandma’s TV Guide. I eventually stumbled on my favorite collection of crossword puzzles in this monthly book –
The TV Guide Crosswords book had “Classic” puzzles from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They also had themed puzzles, with clues specific to certain TV shows, and new puzzles. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I was when they stopped publishing this book!
Once I started doing more crosswords, I ventured into regular crosswords, but never did all too well with them. Games Magazine had a very cool crossword-type puzzle where the clues were in the grid called Pencil Pointers. I always loved doing those – despite the fact that I never really finished them.
I was reminded of one of my all time favorite puzzles a few weeks ago, when they were giving out free Sunday newspapers at the grocery store down the street. At work that Sunday night, I pulled out the comics to see what old favorites were there. They have an entire section of puzzles there with crosswords, Jumble, and others. There, in the middle of the page, was the Wonderword. That brought back a ton of memories!
The Wonderword was a word search puzzle, similar to the one I mentioned earlier. The difference is that instead of circling the entire word, you circle each letter of the word, like this:
After you have found all the words, there are letters left uncircled. You start in the first row and write each of the remaining letters down, in order, and they will spell a word (usually something to do with the theme of the puzzle).
I remember my grandma doing the Wonderword every Sunday. Sometimes we’d come over and she’s say she couldn’t find a word or two, and have me look for it.
I remember when I had a paper route for The Detroit News, I’d always be sure to grab an extra set of the comics for myself, so I could do the puzzle and see if grandma and I got the same answer! LOL – of course, we did! It was the same puzzle!!!
It may seem silly, but as I sat and did the Wonderword that was in the paper, I felt like a 10 year old kid again.
It was so much fun, I will probably make it a point to get a Sunday paper more frequently! I’ll save coupons for my wife, and I’ll do this silly puzzle … or as I call it “a workout for my brain”!