About face (A crossword)

Masks in literature and popular culture

Future humans may identify images of 2020 and 2021 by the ubiquitousness of a single garment: the mask. Even though the CDC's recommendations currently allow those vaccinated against COVID-19 to mostly go without, many of us will continue to don a face covering for any number of reasons.

Disease prevention aside, masks can play many other roles, from disguise to dust obstruction. ASU Regents Professor of English Alberto Ríos constructed this puzzle with all manner of masks and maskers at the center, reminding those still shielding their faces that they're in good company.

→Try the interactive version!


1. Head and sometimes face covering worn in public by some Muslim women
4. His senses tingle
6. Form-al date of birth
8. More face? Spanish mask, English makeup
10. He used rapier to carve initial to "sign his work"
11. Tabby, Calico, Siamese, etc.
12. Guy Fawkes-inspired mask in what "V" is for
13. It may be out on a limb
16. Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar, Anne Hathaway, etc.
18. Dumas prisoner kept in this mask
20. Don't tug on his cape
23. We're wearing masks to prevent its spread
25. Sign on this line
26. Beauty pageant wear
28. Code word representing the letter T, used in voice communication by radio
29. Commander Vader, off duty
31. Plague doctor masks had this bird feature
32. At this kind of ball, everyone wears a mask


1. Haw's partner
2. He wore a goalie mask
3. Opposite of most cowardly
5. Head covering and water simulate this feeling
6. Fauci, Gupta, Walensky, etc.
7. Bruce Wayne in a cowl
9. Sally Ride, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, etc.
14. Seuss's "Cat" wore one
15. Mexico's greatest luchador, who never removed his mask
17. Number 1 in cards
18. H.G. Wells "Man" wears a mask of bandages to be seen
19. Eccentric
21. Eric wears a mask in the opera house
22. Repeat
24. His lambs were silenced by a muzzle
27. Ironman alter ego Tony
30. School for Sun Devils

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