Lisa Engle writes to us:
"David, Thank-you for your response to my e-mail. A bit of trivia for you: WW appeared in TV Guide in the 70's. If I recall correctly, WW was only published once per week during that time or perhaps I only recv'd the week-end paper. Nonetheless, it was my 'me' time to escape into another room with my precious WW. I particularly enjoy the puzzle within the puzzle; trying to figure out what the leftover letters will spell. Always tough for me to do, but I keep trying! I noticed the puzzles are much larger in print than they used to be. Of course you may post any of my e-mails on your site....with one condition: you must correct my awful grammar & spelling errors prior to posting. Blessings to you!"
Thank you for taking me down memory lane and reminding me of WONDERWORD's amazing history.
Roseann Fox writes to us:
"WONDERWORD has been a great tool for helping my 13 year old son with autism. Children with autism have a hard time learning incidentally, and therefore it is difficult to teach them concepts that don't always occur in day to day experiences. With WONDERWORD, my son is able to take a group of words, link them to one another, and then link them to the hint or solution to the puzzle. He completes them so quickly too, it is amazing. He also also provoked to ask us what certain words mean, which is starting to help with his reading comprehension. We have tried many different types of puzzles with him, but only WONDERWORD keeps him motivated to the end to find the solution. It is also helping his memory and focus. When he goes back to old puzzles, he looks at all the words, and tries to remember the answer without looking at it. He gets so excited Mondays and Fridays to download the new puzzle, and has completed the 3 books that we bought from the website. His grandmother cuts the puzzle from her newspaper everyday, and mails them to him once a week. He can't wait for them to arrive. What a great key to unlocking many of the struggles that these children have. Thanks WONDERWORD!"
Thank you Roseann for your email and letting us share your story with our fans. Your son is beautiful!
One of the youngest fans, who now lives in Germany discovered WONDERWORD in Vietnam which publishes WONDERWORD. She can’t get WONDERWORD in any newspaper in Germany and has convinced her father to buy her books. Her father writes to me regularly about how WONDERWORD has touched their lives. Thanks for your support Peter and Anh Virginie.
As you can tell, we have fans of all ages and we’re thrilled about that.
WONDERWORD really appreciates hearing from everyone.
12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, May 27, 2010
By KATHLEEN GREEN / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
Kathleen Green is a Plano freelance writer.
Today, for the first time, a newspaper is the theme of the Wonderword puzzle – and it's our very own Dallas Morning News.
Be on the lookout for words such as "classified," "articles" and "broadsheet," along with local editors' names. Wonderword is a word-search puzzle, so knowledge of the paper's inner workings isn't a requirement to complete it.
Wonderword creator David Ouellet says Dallas holds a special spot in his heart. He was pleasantly surprised by the city's generosity and friendliness on each of his visits from his native Canada.
"We went to some steakhouse, and we couldn't get a taxi coming home," Ouellet says of his late-night outing with his late mom, Jo, who started Wonderword in 1980. "Believe it or not, the waitress drove us back to our hotel. You don't get that very often."
The professed foodie says he's been wowed at Fearing's restaurant, intrigued by conspiracy theories at The Sixth Floor Museum and astonished by our love for Dallas Cowboys football. He took a trip to Southfork and all points Dallas when the TV show was in its heyday. He's even spent time at The News.
"I met the features editor when I was there seven years ago," he says. "What was really funny ... down in the lobby, the receptionist was doing the puzzle."
When Ouellet isn't traveling the globe – he just got back from Europe – he's busily working on Wonderword themes. He says he and the staff try to stay current with pop culture, including Avatar and Sex and the City puzzles. Beach and cooking themes are reader faves, but they absolutely stay away from anything political.
"We won't touch it," he says.
Wonderword has run in The News since 1989. The syndicated puzzle is published in about 250 newspapers. Ouellet estimates about 1 million people do the puzzle daily, and many of those do it to keep their minds sharp.
"We get so many people saying we've changed their lives, sometimes when they're a little bit older or when they've had a stroke, and this is very touching for us," he says.
For those who can't get enough of the Dallas theme, an upcoming Wonderword book will include an entire puzzle devoted to Big D.
Kathleen Green is a Plano freelance writer.
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