“We’re Puzzled!” was the title of the recent letter we received. I have to say that so were Hubby and I a bit confounded by the letter we received!”Hubby is still a member of the Alumni or at least if his membership has lapsed.. no one told the Magazine department which sends out the Alumni Association Magazine and other materials each year.
The latest outreach from my Hubby’s Alma mater is just hilarious! I guess it would be in bad form to actually mention the institution by name… but let’s just say it is located in a state where the sun shines almost eternally and the place had a well deserved reputation as a party school. The bar was set so low back in the day that students with a C average were welcomed with open arms! If the student had great skills in joint rolling, it definitely increased their acceptance rate at the state University. I do kid, but not too far off the mark here.
The letter goes on to inquire about the lack of membership by Hubby, the alumni of said state University. The “puzzle” theme is played on throughout the entire front page text, as they extol the benefits of continuing to support the Alumni Association. Lists are provided to the reader of all the great activities that are supported by their funds and former graduates are encouraged to “make a difference” while enjoying the many benefits that their member avails.
The URL for the institution is peppered throughout the letter as well and the PS: at the end encourages recipients to flip over the page and find a special crossword puzzle that will test their IQ.
The puzzle is titled “Help Bonzo( name of the University’s mascot)solve this crossword puzzle.” And the reader is tipped off to the fact in the next line that if they visit “alumni ___ .edu/puzzle they will find the answers and much, much more!
This puzzle is so in keeping with the past spirit of the campus circa the 1960’s to 1980’s party school era fame. In fact it looks like Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong may have been on consult for this fine piece of work. It smacks (no pun intended here) of their brand of comedy during their comedy album days! Their work was hilarious. In 1971 self-titled debut album of Cheech & Chong, … Their self titled album was nominated for Best Comedy Recording at the 14th Grammy Awards.
The level of knowledge need to complete the puzzle is reminiscent of an album cut in which Chong plays Bob, a contestant on Let’s Make A Dope Deal.
(For my younger readers or my slightly “memory challenged” classmates of my age bracket: this was a game show that asks a stoner contestant named Bob to give a correct answer to the question “What is your name?” Bob is truly challenged and becomes more confused and anxious as he is unable to answer. Even with the encouragement of the host, asking him “Come on BOB, what is your name” he still fails to give the correct answer in the time allocated by the clock.)
Back to our puzzle:
Example Number one across is three letter answer and the clue says” “Also known as the Student Alumni Association” did you guess that the answer is “SAA”?
Ding! Ding! Ding! You are correct! Let’s move on to number five across which asks “What is the name of the school mascot?” Hint: look at the top of this page and read over the title! Yup! The answer is “BONZO.” Wow, man this is so cool… you have scored two answers already! Want to try for another one?
Successive questions 4 across and 16 down ask the puzzle solver to provide the names of the school colors. Did I mention that this letter is in color? The heading of the letter has a beautiful full color rendition of the University name and logo. Wow so now if the reader is fairly accurate at spelling RED and GOLD… there are two more answers in the bag!
Bonus questions are a bit trickier but if one truly thinks about this it is not too high a level of difficulty. Here is the clue for 12 across: On their 50th anniversary, alumni come back for their _______ reunion! Hey if you guessed “Fiftieth” you would hear the BUZZER of SHAME! Like I said a bit of thinking is required. Here is a clue. Those of you whose grandparents were fairly healthy probably celebrated their 50th anniversary. Do you know the other name for this celebration? Hint: it is a precious metal!
It is a shame that Hallmark no longer publishes those sweet little date calendars! Inside the front cover is a list of “Gifts for Wedding Anniversaries” starting with Number One which is “paper” and browsing the list one can see that the gift for 50th anniversary is “GOLD”. Oops… I almost gave this answer away!
Another answer that requires a bit of outside research asks the solver to give the name of the magazine published by the Alumni Association. This is usually an easy one, unless the reader lives in a household where recycling is taken out on at least a monthly schedule. Our stacks of magazines are piled on the kitchen table for several weeks… maybe a bit longer. So the answer to this one was literally right under our nose!
I truly hope that this puzzle was sent out in jest and not a genuine effort to bring the level required into line with the perception of former graduates abilities! Granted after years of abuse, I am sure that many of the minds are not as sharp as they once perceived they were.
In fairness to this fine institution and it current reputation for scholarship… rumor has it that a “Midwestern” state university has recently captured that somewhat dubious title of “Party School”.by