Editor’s Letter: All Fun, Some Games

Infusing some play into your reading experience.

Editor's Letter: All Fun, Some Games

Like anything else, putting together a magazine can get rote, if you let it. Keeping up the creative energy issue after issue takes work, a willingness to discard old darlings (or resuscitate them), and the perennial belief that you can always come up with something better. With this issue of the Alcalde, we are pleased to introduce a few new features that we hope reflect our age-old goal: to make you want to read the magazine and have fun along the way.

For as much as we like to reach for the highbrow—an essay on Shakespeare, a tome on diplomacy, an argument in favor of a new Constitutional convention, or an in-depth discussion of graduation rates (p. 40)—we aren’t above occasionally ducking down into good old-fashioned games. With this issue, we are delighted to introduce a new section called the Puzzler. The first installment is a UT-themed crossword puzzle, like the New York Times’ famous crossword, only burnt-orange (so, better). Try your hand at it on p. 94. We’ll have the key for you in the July issue and online at alcalde.texasexes.org/crossword.

Next, we have a new feature in the campus news section of the magazine which we are calling the Quad. Inspired by the Onion’s Tolerability Index and New York magazine’s Approval Matrix, this visual presentation of UT-related news charts each item on two axes. On one axis we have In the Lab versus On the Drag, which roughly equates to high-minded versus low-brow. On the other axis we have Light the Tower versus Light a Candle, which means, basically, ‘yes we like it,’ or ‘let’s put a hex on it.’ With as much as UT and its alumni do around the world, we quickly found that we had no shortage of material to fill the Quad six times a year. Keep your eye out for one news item that stands out above the rest. It is designated with a golden acorn, courtesy of the albino squirrel. Check it out on page 28.

Speaking of our favorite little campus critter, he has also graciously agreed to a new game with us called Find the Albino Squirrel. Somewhere hidden in each issue will be a small image of the furry creature. He could be anywhere, mind you. In any section, on any page, including in our Texas Exes ads. We invite you to email us at comments@alumni.utexas.edu as soon as you spot him. Each lucky sleuth will be entered to win a prize. Happy hunting!

Finally, we have two big feature stories in this issue that lend themselves to near-endless wordplay: Rose Cahalan’s profile of astronaut Karen Nyberg (p. 32) and Andrew Roush’s story on UT’s reinvigorated rodeo club (p. 52). We had perhaps too much fun identifying and subsequently scrapping puns, clichés, double entendres, and other rhetorical hijinks from the finished product. For your edification, we have listed here all the ones we resisted the temptation to use:

All hat, no cattle


Blast off

Bull by the Horns

Grab/hold/take the reins

Kick up your spurs

Out of this world

Rocket science

Saddle up

Space cowboy

Star power




The final frontier

We hope you have a lot of fun reading this and future issues of the magazine. We sure enjoy putting it together.


Photo courtesy Stephanie Sarles.


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