Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Courage to Face the Times' Crossword Puzzle

Major bold move of this weekend so far: I bought a new crossword puzzle book, having done all I could with the last one. The ones I currently go for are the New York Times easy-to-hard collections. I once threw away an unfinished one that was all Sunday Times crosswords. (Times puzzles are easiest on Monday and get harder all week.)

Perhaps you are thinking that this doesn't seem like a bold move. But being a not-so-serious cruciverbalist can be humbling. It's like getting an achievement test score every day, when you took the test on not enough sleep.

I've been dabbling at it on and off for years and I've gotten somewhat better at it--can pretty well whip through Monday through Wednesday. And I remember the time when Monday was a test. Recently I read about a fellow who won't do the Mon-Wed puzzles because they're simply too easy for him to be engaging. I fancy myself fairly clever and well-read and up on cultural references (weak on rivers and athletes) but I may never get to that league.

Still,last night I sharpened my pencil once again. And there's little that's so delicious as a good pencil and a clean puzzle.

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kenju said...

I buy large puzzle books and work on them until I simply cannot come up with another answer - sometimes they are here for years and years. I figure that even if I don't complete them, they have done the job of keeping my brain sharper than it would have been, and they are a way of multi-tasking while watching TV, which allows me not to feel guilty about wasting time.

mamie said...

One of my favorite weekly puzzles is the one in the Sunday Greensboro paper. My dad saves them for me, then I copy them so my daughter can work them too.

I love crossword puzzles but never look at the answers if I can't figure something out. I don't want help solving them, just do what I can and move on.

Greta said...

Thanks, Peggy, for cruciverbalist. I assumed it didn't refer to someone who likes to talk about the crucifix, but I looked it up to be sure it is, indeed, an enthusiast of word games/crossword puzzles. I work the daily Yahoo one which is difficult b/c it has to do with current TV/Movie/sport topics (not an area of strength for me). So it's a challenge even though it's not the usual intellectual endeavor. I do it to keep my aging brain safe from atrophy.

Anonymous said...

Be bolder Peggy and use a pen! You will be embued with a confidence previously unknown.

Peggy Payne said...

What a delight to hear from fellow crossworders!

Anon, I actually feel bolder with a pencil, knowing that I can erase allows me to take all kinds of wild word chances.

I love the idea of puzzles giving "added value" to TV time, Kenju. I do crunches while I watch TV. And sometimes snack mid-crunch. Certainly can't be restricted to doing one thing at a time.

Also, thanks, Greta and Mamie, for the new source ideas.

My mom not long ago did the most extravagantly generous thing while I was staying at her house. She worked that day's crossword and then erased her answers completely so I could do it too.