Social media sleuths notice something ‘shameless’ about USA Today’s word search games

Social media users raked USA Today over the coals when it seemed there was an ulterior motive in the daily word searches loved by its readers.

The left-leaning newspaper was called out on X when a noticeable pattern emerged about certain words buried in the puzzles, as one user shared screenshots purportedly from several different word searches that had “woke” words embedded throughout.

There was no confirmed report that USA Today has been adding these words to its puzzles, but X users roasted the “shameless” creator and the paper for publishing them.

“We need to talk about the @USATODAY crossword puzzles,” tweeted a user with the handle “MillennialOther.”

The phrase “Regret Rate” was evidently the answer for the hint: “Stat that’s very low for gender-affirming surgeries,” according to Meara’s account post.

And “baby shower” was the answer for the hint about a “party for a pregnant person” that appeared to be part of a puzzle last month titled, “Out Of The Closets And Into The Streets (freestyle).” This word search also included the word “pronouns.”

“But wait, there’s more!” declared another tweet showing more puzzles found in USA Today.

The hint “using plus-size models without offering plus-size clothing” generated the answer, “curve-washing,” described by Fashion Magazine as a “harmful marketing tactic” that gives the “illusion of body inclusivity.”

Word searches also purportedly included hints such as “Umbrella term for non-allosexual people” and the word “drag” hidden in the puzzle.

One X user asked in the comments, “What’s the name of the blue-haired ally with the septum piercing who created this one?”

“Bunself. Obviously,” was the response.

“In case it isn’t clear, each screenshot is from a different puzzle,” Meara posted in another tweet.

“This is not a one-off thing,” the user added, contending that USA Today “is putting in work to normalize this garbage.”

The newspaper offers several other puzzles from crosswords to word searches for children. Puzzles are available in online formats and a subscription plan is offered for those who are serious about their puzzle-solving skills.

But X users were outraged by the not-so-hidden agenda being presented by the Gannett-owned paper in recent word searches.


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Frieda Powers


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