A homecoming puzzle

Senior uses crossword to propose date


Courtsey of Jordan Callaway

The final clue in the puzzle senior Toby Macklin gave senior Jordan Callaway was a homecoming invitation.

A couple sits together, hunched over a paper crisscrossed with long boxes. As senior Jordan Callaway fills in the last blank, she is puzzled. Then, her face lights up with recognition, she giggles and says “yes.”

Using a crossword puzzle, senior Toby Macklin asked Callaway to the homecoming game and masquerade ball.

Eventually I discovered it was his way of asking me to homecoming.

— Jordan Callaway, 12

“I texted my grandpa and asked him if he could make me a crossword,” Macklin said. “He’s been trying to get into the New York Times with his crosswords, but he can’t because his crosswords are impossible. I wanted him to put “hoco?” in there with yes as the answer.”

Callaway completed the puzzle, but did not initially recognize the question.

“I did the whole crossword and didn’t even realize that was a clue on there,” Callaway said. “I completely skimmed over it. He brought it to my attention and I finally realized what it said. He had me write it in the blank.”

Macklin named the puzzle Skywriting after the process of pilots using the smoke in an aircraft to spell out a message visible from the ground.

“By naming the crossword Skywriting, he was implying that something was going to be spelled out somehow, someway,” Callaway said. “Eventually I discovered it was his way of asking me to homecoming. I thought it was really thoughtful.”

Callaway said she is most excited to make Macklin a garter, and Macklin said he is excited to see Callaway’s homecoming dress.

“Homecoming is fun for me because I like the spirit leading up to the game,” Callaway said. “I love it.”