Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cheating at crosswords

kw: observations, games, puzzles

Most days of the week, I work the puzzles in the newspaper. The main three, Sudoku, a Cryptogram, and a Crossword, increase in difficulty through the week. I can usually do the Cryptogram and the Sudoku any day of the week, though the techniques differ as the week progresses. I can usually do all the Crosswords except Saturday (I don't even try on Sunday, when they use an oversize NY Times puzzle), though in recent weeks I have often been able to complete a Saturday Crossword also.

Today I got halfway done with the Crossword and got stuck. All the key clues to the remaining sections were societal references that meant nothing to me. I guess I don't get out enough! This movie star, that 1965 Nobel prize winner, some composer. Well! I had the computer handy, so I looked a couple things up. Pretty soon, I'd gathered enough of the social clues to finish the puzzle. But, it just isn't as satisfying as finishing a puzzle by memory and wit alone.

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