Sunday, April 22, 2007

I love crossword puzzles

I think I neglected to mention here that I recently subscribed to the New York Times crossword puzzle online. Most mornings I print out the crossword and try to get through it. I can usually get through Monday - Tuesday okay, and sometimes even Wednesday-Thursday. (Did you know the Times crosswords get progressively harder as the week goes on, with Saturday being the hardest?)  Sundays are usually do-able, but it takes me a couple of [extremely enjoyable] hours.
Sometimes, when I don't know an answer, I will Google it or use as a solving aide. I also own 2 or 3 crossword dictionaries and I'm not afraid to use them\. Some people consider this cheating, I know, but I just consider it as brushing up my librarian skills.
My neighbor Melissa is also into crosswords. She does them in pen, which I find amazing, and I am in awe of her. She and I know a lot of the same things but we also have different spheres of knowledge. So we've been taking the Sunday Times crossword down to the donut shop the last few weeks, and working on it together. Last week she told me the answer to a clue that I didn't know (it was a French word), and I told her who the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails was.  (And then she laughed at me when I sang her the first stanza of Head Like A Hole.) That's a pop culture answer that my grandfather, for instance, would never get. He doesn't think the puzzles are as much fun now that that whippersnapper Will Shortz is editing them, because Will allows a lot of pop culture and current events into the clues. But that's what I like about them.
Many people feel very strongly about their crossword puzzles. There's a guy who blogs about solving the daily Times puzzle at Cruciverbalism, by Stanley Newman, is also really interesting. And of course, I highly recommend the documentary Wordplay , which is a terrific look at the seamy underbelly of crossword puzzling. (Not really. They all seem like very nice people.)
Anyway, sometimes I am more in a crossword mood than I am in a reading mood, so when I'm not posting much, it's probably because I'm off in a corner trying to figure out a crossword (or a puzzle of a different variety, when I'm feeling like I want to "mix it up.")

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