Word Search PuzzlesWord Search puzzles - also known as Wordsearch or Word Find puzzles - are one of the simplest yet most popular word based puzzles. They appear in many newspapers and magazines, indeed you can buy magazines and books that consist entirely of word searches.
The word search puzzle bears similarities to the ancient word squares. The modern version appears to have been invented in America in the 1960s.
SolvingWord searches can, of course, be solved by "brute force". Simply scan the grid row by row for the first letter of the target word then check if it can be spelt out from that point. An alternative approach that I personally find more satisfying is to randomly "scan" the grid allowing the subconscious to pick up any distinctive letter combinations in the target word.
Word search puzzles are clearly well suited to computer generation and you can buy or play online programs which will generate puzzles either from a specified list of words or from the entire dictionary. Computer programs sometimes have additional features such as "against the clock" challenges.