February 13, 2015

Beware of self-satisfying word search puzzles!


See if your teen can find "Anastasia" and "Christian" in this word puzzle!

See if your teen can find “Anastasia” and “Christian” in this word puzzle!

Fifty Shades of Grey opened in movie theaters today, and some parents in Monessen, Pennsylvania, are freaking out. Not about the movie or about the book, but about a word search puzzle that was handed out by their teenagers’ teacher containing names and terms related to the book. Words like bestsellerblackberry, multinational, and entrepreneur.

Okay, maybe instructing your eighth-grade student to find and circle nipple clamps isn’t so appropriate.

But then I took a look at the words in Borges’s illustrious canon: Daniel Temkin has helpfully gathered all of them, both English and Spanish, into a gigantical-spreadtastic collective digital word search puzzle. And frankly, some of the words that you good people out there have circled shocked the genital clamps off of me:

frontispice [sic]





Back to Monesson: Joshua Kramer, a senior at Monesson High School, clarified that only about five students received the puzzle during in-school suspension, while Roberta Bergstedt, the board director of Monesson Middle School, explained in an e-mail that the hand-out “was a huge but unintentional error.”

Sorry, it was likely a very intentional prank. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Wah-Ming Chang is the managing editor of Melville House.