Eyes Open: Puzzle #7


Welcome to the latest puzzle in my ongoing series, Eyes Open, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights protests.

Two months ago, I dedicated a word search puzzle to some of the many, many victims of police violence, including links to news stories, updates on many of the investigations, the (occasional) consequences for the officers involved, and the heartbreaking lack of response from governing bodies to do anything about this.

Moreover, I was left staggered by the number of names I’d only heard in passing, or names I’d never heard. I wanted to return to the subject of these names in another puzzle, but not until I had an idea for the puzzle itself that said something about this crisis.

I found inspiration in a dark place, when I realized that even the most attentive and diligent people following these stories would be hard-pressed to remember every single name.


Even this picture barely scratches the surface.

So I started working on this puzzle. The thematic element of this puzzle proved very challenging to realize in a satisfying way, and I would work on it for a while, then put it aside, then return to it and polish and deconstruct and reconstruct and work on it again. Eyes Open puzzles #5 and #6 were both created and posted while this puzzle was being labored over.

I finally feel like the puzzle is ready for readers. I hope that this puzzle serves to both engage you as a solver and encourage you to learn more about the names in this puzzle, and the many names yet to receive their time in the spotlight.

I’m also including links here, here, and here with more information about the individuals mentioned in the puzzle. They can serve as a solving hint or as further reading once the puzzle is complete.

eyes open 7 puzzle 2 image

[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.
Believe women.
Black lives matter.

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