Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Kids, Parents Puzzle Together

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Kids, Parents Puzzle Together

Article excerpt

What syndicated feature is published in both newspapers and restaurants? The answer to that puzzler is a puzzle by the name of "Kids Across Parents Down," which Jan Buckner Walker creates for Tribune Media Services (TMS).

Her family-friendly crossword -- in which youngsters solve the horizontal clues and parents take on the vertical ones -- runs in such papers as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. Other versions appear in Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. magazine and on kid menus in about 540 Cracker Barrel restaurants; that menu tie-in began earlier this year. This month, the newspaper version of "Kids Across Parents Down" will mark its third anniversary with TMS.

Walker actually came up with the idea for the puzzle in 1999, but didn't do much with it for a couple of years. "After 9/11, I just had a thought -- people wanted to stay home and bond with their children," she says. "I showed it to syndicates and got a great response."

The Illinois-based Walker earned a journalism degree from Howard University, did some copyediting as an intern at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and later earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. …

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