A Classic Back-to-School Lip-Reading Puzzle

Geek Culture

Another summer’s come and gone and you’ve done it again: forgotten the names of all the kids in your child’s class. And, now as we start the new school year, it’s much, much too late to ask without massive embarrassment. Your wife knows the names, but she’s sworn to let you hang on this one to teach you a lesson about something or other having to do with your too-frequent queries for the placement of you car keys, belt, wallet, light saber, etc.

Luckily you found last year’s class photo, originally published by puzzle maestro extraordinaire Sam Loyd in his classic Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles, Tricks, & Conundrums (and yes, linguistic geeks, I’m aware I just created an unholy love child of Italian and French). And you found a list of the kids’ names: OOM, ALDEN, EASTMAN, ALFRED, ARTHUR, LUKE, FLETCHER, MATTHEW, THEODORE, RICHARD, SHERMER, and HISSWALD.

But which kid goes with which name? Then you notice: in this photo, the kids have been immortalized just as they started to pronounce the first letters of their names.

Game on.

Can you match the correct names to the correct kids? Let’s start naming in the back left — the guy with pursed lips — and then move across the row, then down to the start of the next row, as if reading lines of text. Comment your answers to engender the massive admiration of geek dads worldwide.

Looking for cheats? Check www.garthsundem.com and Twitter @garthsundem. You shouldn’t need it, but I’ll post a couple hints first and finally the answer. And, in case it isn’t obvious, this is not the GeekDad Puzzle of the Week.

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