The puzzles in this book are in the traditional word search format. Words in the list are hidden in the grid in any direction: up, down, forward, backward, or diagonally. The words are always found in a straight line and letters are never skipped. Words can overlap. For example, the letters at the end of the word “MAST” could be used as the start of the word “STERN.” Only the letters A to Z are used, and any spaces in an entry are removed. For example, “TROPICAL FISH” would be found in the grid as “TROPICALFISH.” Draw a circle around each word that you find in the grid. Then cross the word off the list so that you will always know what words remain to be found.
A favorite strategy is to look for the first letter in a word, then see if the second letter is in any of the eight neighboring letters, and so on until the word is found. Or instead of searching for the first letter in a word, it is sometimes easier to look for letters that stand out, like Q, U, X, and Z. Double letters in a word will also stand out and be easier to find in the grid. Another strategy is to simply scan each row, column, and diagonal looking for any words.
The grids in this book might look like random sets of letters, an alphabet chaos with no rhyme or reason. But I can assure you that in each grid is a treasure trove of words waiting to be discovered. People love to find structure in chaos, and I think that is why word search puzzles are so much fun.
More than just fun, these puzzles can be relaxing. Word search puzzles are a pleasant diversion from the hectic world. They gently focus our minds on a task that is challenging but never insurmountable. After completing a puzzle, we return to the real world rejuvenated and ready to face life's challenges anew.
This book is packed with a huge number of puzzles. I've had fun coming up with a unique theme for each one. There are topics on just about everything under the sun. I hope you find the words interesting, or maybe amusing. Happy searching!