Sharpen your back-to-school pencils and your sense of appreciation for educators everywhere — it’s wordoku time. Wordoku is Sudoku for wordies. It preserves the logic and order of the puzzles but replaces all of those pesky numbers with the letters of a particular word.
To correctly solve the EDUCATORS wordoku, make sure that every row, column, and 3x3 box contains the following letters exactly once [difficulty: easy as A-B-C; well, almost]:
Thanks to clear skies and a waning crescent moon, the annual Perseid meteor shower is giving us quite a show this year. If you couldn’t catch a falling star at the peak of the shower — in the wee hours of yesterday morning — you may still see some shooting tonight and tomorrow night. Experts say to seek a rural spot where the lights of a city won’t interfere and to look to the northeast.
From the May flowers of Mother’s Day to the June activities of Father’s Day, parental appreciation marches on. Add a dash of word love, apply the rules of logic, arrange on a tidy grid, and — voilà! — we’ve fathered a Father’s Day wordoku.
To correctly solve the FATHERING wordoku, make sure that every row, column, and 3x3 box contains the following letters exactly once [difficulty: experience is the father of wisdom]:
I have reflections on my brain lately. They flicker and flash and trigger migraines. They show up rather unexpectedly and pleasantly on my laptop screen (pictured). And they are heavily featured in commencement speeches as students and speakers look back on moments shared and lessons learned.
April showers have finally given way to May flowers for most of our readers in the Northern Hemisphere, and May flowers are quickly giving way to June weeding of vegetable gardens. Between the end-of-May graduation parties and the summer fight against garden pests, don’t forget to stop and enjoy your flower of choice now and again.
To correctly solve the MAY FLOWER wordoku, make sure that every row, column, and 3x3 box contains the following letters exactly once [difficulty: a few posy nothings]:
When I was very young, my sister and I observed May Day by making paper baskets filled with violets and dandelions or lilacs and apple blossoms. We would hang them on neighbors’ and relatives’ doors and then ring or knock and run away. It was delightful.
March is never very springlike in my neck of the woods, but each year I hold out hope for a warm and verdant first day of spring. Today, I continue to hold out hope for next year. I come from a patient people. A patient, spring-loving people.
Marmots across the nation will scramble out of their burrows to dabble in seasonal prognostics tomorrow, February 2 — Groundhog Day. If it’s a sunny morning, and the groundhog of the moment is scared back under cover by seeing its shadow, the sad prediction is for six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog finds unshadowed comfort to dwell in above ground, it bolsters our hopes for an early spring.