MAKING OF A WONDERWORD
Do you ever wonder how Wonderword puzzles are created? Well, here’s the scoop.
Firstly, I come up with a list of approximately 400 themes every year. I read a lot and watch a lot of TV (with my lovely wife, Sophie) and themes just seem to pop in my head. 400 themes are not enough for a year as we publish many more than that so where do the rest come from? We pay attention to what’s going on around the world such as sports, celebrities, movies, new trends, famous people who have passed on and we listen to our fans for suggestions. We also subscribe to magazines like National Geographic, Wildlife and Discovery so we can make puzzles about far-off lands.
Researching the themes is a team effort. Linda Boragina, our Editor, handles the distribution of the themes and we have group of 4 people who prepare word lists for us.
Once the lists are ready then the creating begins. Can you believe that we still create puzzles by hand? Well we do! The only time we use a computer is to format the puzzle and to email them to Clint Hooker, our Editor, at the syndicate, Universal Uclick in Kansas City. Prior to sending them out I always have a final, thorough look at them to ensure that they meet our standards.
While all of the above may sound scientific, the actual making of the puzzle itself, the interweaving of the words into a puzzle, is more of an art. The puzzles require a certain level of difficulty, or else the challenge to the reader is gone; yet if the words are too buried, the puzzle becomes more work than entertainment. This balance cannot be defined, but regular WONDERWORD solvers know exactly what we mean.
Once all this is done, they are distributed to 250 newspapers in the USA, Canada and overseas.
We have been told that Wonderword is done daily by at least 2,000,000 people.
One thing for sure is that our fans give us the energy to create Wonderword. You inspire us through your calls, emails and letters. We are so grateful to have such wonderful, loyal fans.