MANSFIELD - A retired Madison High School math teacher has written a  puzzle book not based on numbers and logic but on words.

sg飞艇appJohn Calhoun, 77, of Mansfield, could easily write the phrases for the popular TV show, "Wheel of Fortune."

sg飞艇appCalhoun, while a math teacher for years, loves words.

sg飞艇appHe said he wrote the book from 2015 to 2017 and it contains 179 word puzzles and over 900 familiar four-word phrases including, "Don't worry, be happy," "Bringing home the bacon" and "self-addressed stamped envelope."

At first he couldn't get it printed for a reasonable cost; the 168-page book sat on a shelf until this spring.

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The creative process began when he was at a job where he had some time on his hands and thought, "Thank goodness it's Friday.

"My inner voice posed the curious question: 'How many other four-word phrases like that do I use every day?'" he said.

He jotted down a dozen more four-word phrases in a few minutes, so many, so quickly....

"I was surprised," he said.

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sg飞艇appCalhoun said for weeks he collected more phrases from commercials, magazines, everyday speech and even sermons. Calhoun said he began to carry a pad and pencil.

sg飞艇appHe said that people will like working through the puzzles which include word searches and over 30 different puzzles which are original creations.

"There is no other puzzle book like this," he said. "The puzzles are fun and a  challenge," he said.

Calhoun said he taught high school math from 1964 to 2000 and last worked as a math lecturer at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. He also has written study guides.

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Calhoun graduated from Mansfield Senior High School and Ohio State where he majored in math education.

sg飞艇appHe said he loves playing along with "Wheel of Fortune" on TV and his wife Mary Ann is the expert when they watch "Jeopardy."

sg飞艇appThe couple have three grown children. Son Scott also likes words and is a professor of English at Cedarville University, he said.

sg飞艇app"He is a book editor of musicians," he said.

Calhoun said he is not a creative writer but he has an interest in music. He plays the organ, piano and clarinet.

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His next project may be producing a board game for which he already has a concept.

sg飞艇appCalhoun's puzzle book will be available at Holly's Book Rack, 1464 Lexington Ave., in the Appleseed Shopping Center, when the shop reopens during COVID-19. He also hopes to have the book available at local independent book stores.

To contact Calhoun, email him at


Twitter: @LWhitmir

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