Thursday, July 15, 2010


There's a science to doing crosswords puzzles. Do you know this? I'm surprised when people with way more smarts and advanced vocabularies than me do not know how to do a crossword. I should be clear - I'm not one of those who can finish every crossword. The Saturday and Sunday ones are often left lying around with half of the answers (or less) filled in, until I'm tired of being reminded how dumb I feel and eventually get thrown away. So here are things about crosswords that some people don't know, which I've discovered by working them with others:

Monday's puzzle is way easy, to the point of annoyance. Tuesday is still fairly easy, Wednesday starts to get more challenging, and by Thursday or Friday I'm feeling retarded. Good luck with the weekend puzzles.

Verb tense in the clue and the answer must match.

Answers will never contain a word or part of a word from the clue. EVER. This seems obvious, but you'd be surprised what people will try.

If the clue uses the last name only of say, an actor, and wants you to supply the character's name - it wants the character's last name as well. It's the matching thing again.

If the clue uses an abbreviation, the answer will be abbreviated too. More matching!

If the clue ends with a question mark, the answer will be "silly answers" (I call them), not literal.

Put it down and pick it back up the next day. I'm convinced the brain continues to mull over the clues. You'll be surprised at the answers you'll get 24 hours later. I'm also convinced that crosswords are good for the mind. I need to work them more often.

And need to know the last name of John Lennon's lover, the name of the river that runs through Paris, a four-letter word for a beigy color, the name for a church altar, the name of an ancient Roman marketplace, and a word for a fluffy accessory. Ono, Seine, ecru, apse, agora, and boa. They're used relentlessly. Must be all the vowels.

Start with Monday. You'll be patting yourself on the back for a job well done getting three-letter answers for the clue "two words heard at a wedding."


jo said...

oh wow. Seriously? Its embarrassing how bad I am at these. Now sudoku? I'm all over that and I feel like a genius. Being married to an english nerd could also have something to do with it. "Hey honey, do you know the tibetan monk's name who was popular in the 1400s and had 3 nipples?" "oh yeah, its..." and then I sorta want to hurt him. :) also I'm going to try your salmon recipe. I've got a great one if you're interested.

Tanya said...

Yeah, I've played trivial pursuit with Doug more than once and it's painful how dumb I feel. :-) And yes, send me that recipe! Your dad says you make a mean salmon.

naomi said...

wow!!! this is amazing and you are totally smart for figuring all this out!!!!