MORSEL MUNK WORD STUMP by Brigitte and Scott Rouleau


: A Puzzling New Language
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A unique puzzle book takes word games up a notch.

What’s a morsel munk? In the wordplay parlance of Brigitte and Scott Rouleau, it’s a clue for “chipmunk.” Indeed, little illustrated chipmunks guide the reader through this puzzle book containing word searches, crossword puzzles and finally an answer section. Rather than the usual clues used in word searches and crossword puzzles, the Rouleaus use what they coin the “Word Stump” language. The clues are linguistic in nature, and the reader/puzzler must work through the possibilities of synonyms, antonyms and other various wordplay to find the answer that fits. For instance, the clue “soul-rhythm” stands for “heartbeat,” “over-string” becomes “underline” and “lease-Robert E. ___” equals “only.” Though many clues are quickly solved, some are much harder, even downright frustrating. For instance, take “a-me-coffee-empty” for “beautiful,” or “shepherd-sugar” for “cauliflower.” There appear to be no hard and fast rules in the Rouleaus’s Word Stump language. A clue may be an antonym or synonym, may be related to the word in question, may be a single letter in alphabetical proximity to the letter in question, or may constitute any other sorts of imaginative wordplay. There are also cases in which a clue contains a part of the answer unchanged in capital letters (“sit-ARD” equals “standard”). The Rouleaus also add “words of wisdom” throughout the book to add interest and promote their youthful view of life. For devoted word-puzzle fans the book will provide a new challenge. For the occasional newspaper-crossword amateur, the authors’ approach may prove difficult and frustrating. The open-ended nature of the book’s premise, resulting in an almost limitless number of possibilities–only one of which fits the puzzle–can be somewhat maddening to those of finite patience. Love it or hate it, it certainly forces the reader to think and think again.

An intriguing verbal challenge that requires lots of patience.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-615-22730-6
Program: Kirkus Indie
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