Welcome to the latest puzzle in my ongoing series, Eyes Open, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights protests.
The civil rights movement recently lost an important, influential person, a genuine icon for equality, perseverance, and hope. I had been working on a puzzle about this gentleman already, and his passing galvanized my resolve to finish this particular crossword.
I wanted to celebrate not only his legacy, but the legacy of another proud resister who stood for the same values and withstood the same blows, both physical and mental, to champion for equal rights and representation.
I also purposely abandoned the traditional diagonal symmetry of crosswords for left-right symmetry as part of a visual design element and thematic element to the puzzle. Solving the puzzle will not only reveal the subject of the puzzle (through the circled letters) and celebrate his incredible efforts, but offer a small, yet hopefully fitting tribute as well.
Even the title, “Because of you, John.” — inspired by President Obama’s words to the man himself — is meant in tribute.
I hope this puzzle serves to both engage you as a solver and encourage you to learn more about this incredible individual on your own.
[Click this link to download a PDF of this puzzle.]
If you have suggestions for more topics for me to cover in future puzzles, please let me know. If you’re a person of color and you’d like to share a puzzle of your own, or to collaborate with me on a puzzle, please let me know.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you have ideas, please let me know. If you’re a trans person, or a non-binary individual, and you feel underrepresented in puzzles, please let me know.
I would like this to become something bigger, but hopefully, this is at the very least a start.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for standing up, speaking up, and fighting the good fight.
Support LGBTQIA+ people.
Black lives matter.