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Wonderword is a syndicated word search puzzle. After all the words are found, the remaining letters spell out the answer, commonly called the “Wonderword”. Each puzzle has a theme or topic.


Wonderword first entered syndication in Edmonton and Montreal in 1970. In 1980 Universal Press Syndicate of Kansas City assumed syndication rights and continues to do so today.[1] It appears in 2 formats: A 15×15 grid Monday through Saturday and 20×20 for Sunday editions. For space reasons, some Sunday newspapers carry a 15×15 version under the name Teleword. It’s estimated that Wonderword has over 1 million players a day.

Wonderword was created by Canadian author Jo Ouellet, and in 1994 her son David Ouellet appeared as co-author until her death in 1997.[2] David Ouellet continues the feature today with his wife Sophie Ouellet and Editor Linda Boragina and a staff of researchers.


Wonderword currently appears in over 225 newspapers across North America.[3] Wonderword also publishes books in 2 types of series. The Treasury books offer puzzles that already have been published and date back as early as 1980. The Treasury books contain about 133 puzzles, 25 of which are the larger 20×20 size.[4] The second series of books are the Collected Wonderword in the Volume sequence. The puzzles have been created specifically for the book and sometimes have a theme within a theme. Book themes include Presidential Edition, Classical Television and Book of Celebrities. The Volume books contain a total of 43 puzzles, 9 of which are the larger 20×20 size. Wonderword also appears in a daily“page-a-day”desk calendar.[5]

How to play[edit]

Wonderword appears in a grid format either in a 15×15 or a 20×20 size. The number of words provided in the lists varies depending on the puzzle. It is recommended that the word list be read first before commencing the puzzle. The words in the list are found in all directions in the grid: vertically, horizontally, diagonally and backward. Circle each letter of the word and strike the word off the list. Circling the letters is recommended in order to be able to single out the letters remaining in the puzzle. Also the letters are often used more than once so it is best not to cross them out. When all the words listed are found there are a number of letters left over that spell out the Wonderword.[6]


Wonderword has done puzzles that have caught the attention of Boeing,[7] Swarovski[8] and Bill O’Reilly [9] among others.

Wonderword is part of the Puzzle Society.[10]


  1. ^ http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/newsrelease/?view=165
  2. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20030511/ai_n14548521/
  3. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-9410220.html
  4. ^ ISBN reference for The Wonderword Treasury Author: David Ouellet Format: Paperback, 128 pages Publication Date: April 1999 Publisher: Andrews McMeel Pub ISBN 0-8362-1642-3 ISBN 978-0836216424
  5. ^ ISBN reference for Wonderword Word Search Calendar, Publisher: Workman Publishing, Published: 03 August 2009, ISBN 0-7611-5507-4 ISBN 978-0761155072
  6. ^ http://www.wikihow.com/Solve-the-Wonderword-Puzzle
  7. ^ http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sundaybuzz/2003634579_sundaybuzz25.html
  8. ^ http://www.wonderword.com/swarovski.html
  9. ^ http://www.billoreilly.com/blog?action=viewBlog&blogID=-742805583216239091
  10. ^ http://www.upuzzles.com/free/wo/index.html