Anthropology Puzzles from the Archives

April 17, 2015

Recently I tumbled down the rabbit hole of the Penn Museum Archives with Senior Archivist, Alex Pezzati.  What started as a search for sketches of the Tiffany mosaics on our building, spiraled into Alex pulling out dozens of other collections of images, sketches, documents, and books for me to look through.  Every manilla folder we opened provided an opportunity for him to show me something else from the Museum’s nearly 130 years of history. When we landed in a box “Museum newsletters,” I spotted one of my favorite pastimes, a crossword puzzle!

This run (ca. 1950-1970) of Museum newsletters came from the Women’s Committee when they used to mail out a brief rundown of the goings-on of the museum, including current research, upcoming exhibitions, and member events.  One particular issue included two word games from a Members’ Night event held in 1965, a crossword puzzle and some Anthropological Anagrams.

After trying my hand at solving them, I’ve digitized both puzzles with some slight alterations and present them below.  The crossword puzzle is a little tough because you have to remember it was written in 1965, but it is not impossible.  The anagrams on the other hand, stumped me pretty good. Perhaps knowing that they were originally part of an exhibition event titled, Man the Inventor, will help in solving them.

Good luck to all you intrepid puzzle solvers out there!

Anthropological Anagrams

RULES: The italicized words form the answer, scrambled, but the whole sentence is a clue to the answer, too. The answers may be made up of one or several words, but not necessarily the same number of words as the underlined portion of the clue. Some of the words, of course, may be plural forms. They are of varying degrees of difficulty, so try them all.
SAMPLE: A slob would get all tangled up in this. Answer: Bolas.

  1. Preparing the feast ruined Popo.
  2. O.K., a bomb fine, but me like quieter weapon.
  3. Rover, the Rat, don’t go there.
    They’ll put you in the dentist’s chair.
  4. O me no brag–the kangaroo got away.
  5. Don’t take plugs, Ben; this fishing rig works without them.
  6. O, a mower?
    No, a thrower!
  7. She’ll daze Malc with her mussels
  8. This woodcutter’s need last grew
    On a cousin of the caribou.
  9. Swap our horn, Al, for a blubber weapon.
  10. A lungbow, exactly.
  11. Board wars won with chessmen;
    Native wars won with these.
  12. O they long, those Watusi! and we love to study them.

Crossword Puzzle

You can download and print the crossword puzzle here.


Answers to both the Crossword puzzle and anagrams are here.