Wired Hides a Sneaky Message on the Spines of Its 2012 Issues

Reader notices 1993 quote from founding editor Louis Rossetto

Wired celebrated its 20th anniversary year in 2012 with a hidden and quite old-school little print puzzle. If you stack the January through December issues with the covers facing up, it reveals a (frankly hard-to-read) quote on the spines that Wired founding editor Louis Rossetto made in the first issue, in 1993: "Our first instruction to our writers: Amaze us." A reader in Riverside, Calif., named Ben Allen was the first to notice the pattern—realizing after the first nine issues that it was spelling out a message. He quickly guessed the complete line with a Google search. The puzzle's makers, Eric Harshbarger and Mike Selinker, were wise to stick with Rossetto's pithy first instruction to writers. His second was: "We know a lot about digital technology, and we are bored with it. Tell us something we've never heard before, in a way we've never seen before. If it challenges our assumptions, so much the better."