Niagara Falls man proposes by creating crossword for newspaper

Frankie Anello used a crossword in Saturday's Review to propose to girlfriend Stefanie Vescio this...

Frankie Anello used a crossword in Saturday's Review to propose to girlfriend Stefanie Vescio this weekend. PHOTO: Special to Niagara Falls Review

John Law, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:59 PM ET

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- For months, Frankie Anello was puzzled looking for a unique way to propose to his girlfriend.

Then it hit him: She liked doing crossword puzzles in the paper. Maybe one in her hometown paper could ask for him.

"Finally, it clicked," he said. "I had never heard of anyone doing this before. I was looking through the paper and when I saw the jumbo (crossword), it gave me the idea."

On page C7 of Saturday's Niagara Falls Review was a bonus crossword to go along with two others.

It was titled Advertorial, with the circled letters arranged to form a "surprise phrase."

On Sunday, Anello and girlfriend Stephanie Vescio spent a romantic day at Toronto Island. It's a favourite spot of theirs and he chose a specific place by the lake to eat lunch and casually pull out the crossword.

First problem? She didn't want to sit by the lake.

"I didn't want to eat by the water because there's bugs," she said with a laugh.

He talked her into it and after lunch he asked if she wanted to do a crossword. It looked odd, but "I didn't think anything of it."

"I thought 'This is interesting,' and he said, 'Well, it's the Saturday edition.' I figured there's always more cartoons, more comics, more games."

Second problem? She got stumped on one word, with the clue Illegal.

"He thought that was funny because I'm a lawyer."


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As she finished, she saw the secret phrase contained the words "Will You Marry Me." Then she realized the first word was her name.

"I cried," she said. "I never thought I would, but I did and covered my face. It was a lot of excitement and crying at the same time. My answer was 'Of course!'"

Vescio lives in Toronto but is moving back home to Niagara soon. Sunday was the couple's first relaxing day together in weeks.

"I only have a couple weeks left in my apartment, so we had been thinking, why not go back to Toronto Island? ," she said. "He picked a very specific spot to go to, a spot we took a nice picture at a couple years ago. He was very adamant about coming here."

"This totally caught me by surprise. It's got Frankie written all over it."

Anello felt a "sigh of relief" all that planning paid off. The hardest part was casually nudging her towards the right answers.

"When she got stuck I would pretend like I figured it out on my own."

john.law@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @JohnLawMedia


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