Happy American Mother’s Day, everyone! (British Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday, as it’s endearingly known, was over a month ago.) I suppose love of Austen often goes along with love of word games. At least this is the case with my own Austen-lovin’ mama. And when you have to combine your knowledge of Austen with your word game skillz, that’s the best. So, for the slightly procrastinary, here are some Mother’s Day gift options. For the non-procrastinary, I’m sure dads love Austen too!
Pocket Posh® Jane Austen: The six or so varieties of word games in this pretty little volume range from easy to moderately challenging. If you have any knowledge of Austen, some of the puzzles are so easy as to be pointless. However, some, like the word searches, occupy one’s time pleasantly, and others, like the codewords and criss crosses, do require some thought. There are a few quizzes on Austen’s life and books, and these questions vary in difficulty too. I was disappointed, though, that in the crosswords (which have British-style grids), the clues don’t have anything to do with Jane Austen—the Austen connection is usually a set of shaded squares to fill in. Only a few of the puzzles require you to combine Austen-fu with word game prowess. But I would recommend this book to any Austen lover who, say, can’t usually solve the New York Times Sunday crossword.
I would love to see an all-Austen-clued American crossword somewhere. Does anyone know of one? This online Jane Austen Crossword Puzzle has Austen clues, but a British grid.
Speaking of online word games, the Jane Austen Word Search Game is rather hypnotic.
Back in bookland, there’s also the Jane Austen Quiz and Puzzle Book, though this is from 1982, and I don’t have a copy. It sounds pretty cool though. According to Abson Books, “there is one crossword for each Jane Austen novel, all clues being quotations; similarly with the ‘name games’. In addition there are 3 ‘word search’ puzzles together with 13 quizzes on all aspects of Jane Austen’s world.”
But I think my next Austen/word game purchase might be So You Think You Know Jane Austen, A Literary Quizbook. This seems like a literary scavenger hunt of a book. Speaking of which, I see there’s been at least one Austen Internet Scavenger Hunt, but I’d love to do a real-life Austen scavenger hunt, like the Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt, but in Bath and connected to Jane Austen. Has this happened? It needs to!
Or, you know, you could just play Austen-themed Scrabble with your mom. I think that would be quite hard enough.