My newspaper column: Brain Baffler puzzles anniversary

While many people know me for my celebrity writing And other folks know me for my radio work. There is another aspect that you might be surprised to learn as I have a syndicated newspaper column too. It’s not the typical column that you see highlighting entertainment, but something entirely different: it’s a puzzle.

For over ten years (way, way longer actually) I have had a column that is a word search puzzle called Brain Baffler that appears weekly in magazines, newspapers and other paper publications. It has been a real source of joy too. And this week it is getting a year older.  While I try not to belabor anniversaries and birthdays, this year there is a very special aspect of the puzzle not only has it survived the continuous cuts of the newspaper business, it has blossomed into something quite spectacular that I can’t hardly believe. Add that there has been a couple volumes of the books published and it is something that delights me.

The first Brain Bafflers were done by hand and typed on a typewriter  – yes, the machines where you hear the keys move and the ribbon strikes the paper.  Today, I still put the puzzles together by hand, but I type them into my laptop and then have a proofreader make sure there are no errors. Many people who make puzzles have adapted to artificial intelligence by having a computer program create the puzzles, but it just isn’t the same. Word searches become predictable by using computers and fresh when a human actually takes the time to put them together.

So a big happy birthday to the Brain Baffler! May this wonderful puzzle be around many more years as I adore putting them together every week. And I hope that I can adapt these to put the puzzles online at some point so people can download and play for free too.

About the author
Jodi Jill currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog Addo. Sharing her love of books and words, she is a literacy speaker, professional writer and syndicated columnist.

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