____. Take. Have.

I am really, really craving a good crossword puzzle right now. I firmly blame this on Little Miss Drinkalot's Sudoku obsession. If I recall correctly, the back of her Sudoku book described it as "a crossword puzzle without letters" --- which got me thinking about how long it's been since I did a good crossword... I suspect it was during the flights on last year's vacation.

I have no interest in Sudoku, at least, not at the moment. I like words, and meaning, and word play. It's not about hammering an assortment of alphabets letters into a black-and-white checkerboard; it's about marvelling at the connect/disconnect, and teasing your brain to make sense where, really, there oughn't to be any.

And now I want a crossword very badly --- in particular, a big ol' Sunday crossword --- and all the sites that used to be free are either charging money for their good crosswords (the New York Times) or their archive sites are mysteriously not responding (the LA Times). So I had to bring myself to register for access to the Washington Post, whose crosswords I've never done before but which I expect should be on par with the other two publications', and get myself a couple of printouts.

That's the thing about me and crosswords. Terz does the Yahoo! ones online, but I like pencilling (or rather 'penning') them in. Yes, even though I'm not actually very good at crosswords and constantly make mistakes, I still like using ink and making a big old mess of the grid.

I got a Borders book voucher for Teachers' Day a couple of weeks ago. I think I shall spend mine on a crossword puzzle book.


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At 9/13/2005 4:52 am , Blogger cour marly said...

Aiyah, I didn't know you were a crosswords fan too. I am a die hard NYTer - I don't like the ones from WashPost, not as clever or challenging, but they'll do in a pinch.

I just tore up 2 big books of NYT Sunday crosswords so that I can bring sets with me when I travel. You want? I photocopy!

I also can't do e-versions. I love writing in the answers (and writing over wrong ones!).

At 9/13/2005 4:52 am , Blogger wahj said...

Get "Games" magazine from Borders (second row of magazine shelves from the left, opposite from the computer magazines). K and I buy one every month, and we've been doing crosswords on and off. Each magazine contains more than we can solve in a month anyway, so we'er building up quite a backlog.

At 9/13/2005 11:30 am , Blogger justpassingby said...

Sorry, but I buay tahan when people call letters 'alphabets'. An alphabet is the complete set of letters used in a particular language arranged in a particular order. Thus, in the English language, the alphabet consists of 26 letters arranged from a-z. So when you do a crossword, you are filling in the blanks with letters, not alphabets.

But like you, I love crosswords. I also like code crackers (like crosswords, without the clues. The number the boxes, one number to one letter... then you figure out the words that go in based on the numbers alone. Fun. Nothing mathematical about it.)

At 9/13/2005 7:48 pm , Blogger Tym said...

I am sorry to report that my first re-encounter with crosswords was a dismal failure. Either the Washington Post ones are hard, hard, harder than the others I'm used to --- or else I'm just hopeless and help-less, after having not done crosswords in so long.

cour marly --- Clearly, we share a braincell (or two).

wahj --- Thanks! Will remember that when I make it down to Borders.

justpassingby --- I think I knew that difference between 'letters' and 'alphabets', but it didn't crystallize till I read your comment. This post (and the next, which was also guilty of the same error), duly fixed. Thanks!

As for code crackers, I do believe I have neither the smarts, strategic mind nor patience to play those. But we'll see. I'm very proud of my interest in crosswords because my dad bought a ton of puzzle books for me as a child, which succeeded for a while in making me think harder, but then it got too hard and turned into a phobia of puzzle books, so being any to complete any kind of puzzle now is an accomplishment in itself.

At 9/13/2005 9:48 pm , Blogger cour marly said...

That's MY braincell!!

I think you're just a smidge rusty, and not used to the WashPost style. Crosswords have a 'language' and if you haven't done them for a while, it can take some time to pick up on the new lingo.

I find that I can zip through one from NYT but struggle with LAT because I hardly ever do the latter and don't know how to read/interpret the clues the right way.

At 9/15/2005 7:28 am , Blogger Admin said...

go to

download AcrossLite2 (from the NYT site only) although AL1 from Litsoft will work

Puzzles to keep you going 24/7

At 9/15/2005 11:28 am , Blogger Tym said...

nynyny --- Thanks, but that link still requires a subscription to access NYT puzzles. Plus I like doing them offline :)

Anyhow, situation update here.

At 10/06/2005 11:33 am , Blogger Douglas said...

Does anyone use "doremi" to talk about money anymore? The NYT puzzle did a couple of days ago

At 10/09/2005 3:20 am , Blogger Tym said...

I think crossword puzzles thrive on archaic or idiosyncratic usage, in order to fit things into the grid :)


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