Ethics Puzzlers

Posted March 21, 2008 at 4:51pm

For those who have tired of online Scrabble games, here’s a new word challenge for your lunch-hour recreation. [IMGCAP(1)]

The Office of Government Ethics — a small federal agency that oversees executive branch ethics rules — has issued a new “Grand Slam” crossword puzzle, so named because it incorporates the five topical puzzles the office issued last year.

Your mission is to fill in the puzzle with answers to ethical questions. For instance, 33 across is an eight-letter word that completes this clue: “You are to protect and _______ government property.” If you answered CONSERVE, you get a gold ethics star. If you answered EMBEZZLE, perhaps you are in the wrong line of work.

The five topical areas included in the puzzle are gifts, outside activities, seeking employment, misuse of position and “general things you should know about ethics.”

Other tough questions include: “You can’t use your public office for private _____”; “Generally, you can’t give your _____ a gift”; and “_____ Moines.” (Answers: supervisor, Des and gain, not in that order.)

The puzzles can be printed from the Office of Government Ethics Web site, and there also is a version that can be filled out online.

No cheating.

— Paul Singer