Word Search: Find All 12 Historical Figures (And See What They’d Bring to Your Dinner Party)

Queen Victoria is on the hook for dessert, and Helen Keller’s got hot dogs covered.

Who's hungry?
Who's hungry? / Justin Dodd/Mental Floss; (Fork and knife) dra_schwartz/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images; (Plate) ilbusca/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images; (Border) mishkom/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images; (Background) CSA Images/Getty Images
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Plenty of people study Michelangelo’s art. But not enough are asking the most important question about the man behind it—namely, what would he bring to a potluck?

Hidden in this word search are the names of 12 heavy hitters from across history. The first three you spot are automatically invited to your next hypothetical dinner party, and we’ve taken the liberty of imagining what dishes they’d show up with.

You can learn more about why we chose each dish below the game, and you’ll find the answer key on the following page.

Note: The names are hidden forward or backward in any direction (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal).

word search on a dinner place setting with 12 historical figures' names hidden in it
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list of historical figures' names and their favorite dishes
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1. Abraham Lincoln // Spiced Crabapples

spiced apples with oatmeal in a bowl
When life gives you apples, thank your wife for making sure to have them on hand. / Arx0nt/Moment/Getty Images

Honest Abe was a big fan of apples, which Mary Todd Lincoln made sure to have on hand. He reportedly favored spiced crabapples—boiled in vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and mace—as a side dish.

2. Andy Warhol // Chocolate Sandwiches

Andy Warhol in front of selected works from his 'Endangered Species' series in 1982
Andy Warhol in 1982. / Brownie Harris/GettyImages

Andy Warhol did love eating Campbell’s soup, but his heart really belonged to sweets. The artist’s sandwich of choice involved slapping some chocolate between two pieces of bread, which he called “cake.”

3. Charles Darwin // Roasted Armadillo

armadillo standing on hind legs in grass
He's seen the menu and he's mad. / glennimage/E+/Getty Images

The famed naturalist was fond of sampling species he came across during his travels, and roasted armadillo went over particularly well at an 1832 meal in Argentina. Darwin said it looked and tasted like duck.

4. Frida Kahlo // Oaxacan Black Mole

triptych dish with red and green peppers, black mole, and rice
Mole from Oaxaca. / Bill Tompkins/GettyImages

Frida Kahlo threw legendary dinner parties with husband Diego Rivera at their house in Mexico City, so it’s no surprise that their wedding menu was impressive. One showstopper was Oaxacan black mole, a spicy sauce made with chocolate and three different types of chiles (plus a couple dozen other ingredients).

5. Harriet Tubman // Cornbread With Salt Pork

harriet tubman in later life
Harriet Tubman in the early 20th century. / Print Collector/GettyImages

Civil rights activist Vivian Carter Mason, who grew up near Harriet Tubman, shared the recipe for “Our ‘Aunt Harriet’s’ Favorite Dish” in 1958’s Historical Cookbook of the American Negro. It’s brown sugar–sweetened cornbread peppered with chunks of fried salt pork. For best results, “butter generously.”

6. Helen Keller // Hot Dogs

helen keller and polly thomson sitting in the grass with a german shepherd
Helen Keller (left) and her longtime companion Polly Thomson. / Mara Vivat/GettyImages

In later life, Helen Keller loved hitting up a local hot dog stand with her companion Winifred Corbally. “Miss Helen was a rogue … We had oodles of fun,” Corbally recalled. “‘Don’t forget the mustard,’ she would say.”

7. Jane Austen // Toasted Cheese

cheese toastie on a white plate
Austen and Keller could've bonded over their love for mustard. / Karl Tapales/Moment/Getty Images

The Pride and Prejudice author’s go-to cheese toastie—the British version of grilled cheese—featured grated cheese mixed with an egg, a teaspoon of mustard, and some butter.

8. Josephine Baker // Spaghetti Bolognese

Josephine Baker in the late 1920s
Josephine Baker in the late 1920s. / General Photographic Agency/GettyImages

Josephine Baker’s preferred post-performance meal was spaghetti Bolognese—heavy on the cayenne—and a beer. The pasta dish is a menu mainstay at Manhattan’s Chez Josephine, the French bistro founded by Baker’s unofficially adopted son in 1986.

9. J. Robert Oppenheimer // Gin Martinis

martini with a lemon garnish on a black background
Oppie wasn't a big food guy. / Photo by Cathy Scola/Moment/Getty Images

According to Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oppie served his popular martinis—“four ounces of gin and a dash of vermouth”—in chilled glasses rimmed with honey and lime juice.

10. Michelangelo // Fennel Soup

vegetable soup with fennel and potatoes
Presumably the soup featured more than just fennel. / Westend61/Getty Images

The Renaissance artist included two fennel soups (“due minestre di finocchio”) on a 1518 grocery list, along with herring, bread, wine, a ravioli-like pasta called tortelli, and other items. Michelangelo sketched everything out beside the text, perhaps to aid an illiterate servant at the store.

11. Queen Victoria // Cranberry Tart

slice of cranberry almond tart on a red plate with the full pie in the background
R.I.P. Queen Victoria, you would've loved 'The Great British Bake Off.' / Image Professionals GmbH/Foodcollection/Getty Images

Queen Victoria adored desserts of all kinds, from chocolate sponge cake to almond candies. According to one palace employee, “a cranberry tart with cream” ranked especially high.

12. Sylvia Plath // Banana Bread

partially sliced loaf of banana bread on a yellow floral table
This could help you get through the everlasting Monday. / Karen M. Romanko/Photodisc/Getty Images

Sylvia Plath was an avid baker, often whipping up elaborate dishes and penning now-iconic poems on the same day. Banana bread was a household favorite; she and husband Ted Hughes enjoyed it with tea.