WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

My crossword to bear

Crossword

It’s true. I’m fairly addicted to crossword puzzles. I’ve been doing them my whole life, give or take a few years during adolescence when I was too manic to sit still for ten minutes, and I found my crossword sweet spot in the New York Times Sunday puzzle. It’s not as hard as the Saturday one, but it’s still challenging enough for my limited patience level, and I love the puns that usually come into play in the longer answers. Ex.: Favorite middle-eastern way to dance? (Sheik to sheik.)

Anyway, I just realized I bought this book of Sunday puzzles back in 2011 (pardon the shmutz on the cover), and I’m just now passing the halfway mark. It’s become a dear friend, in a strange and slightly anti-social way. I’d probably rather be dabbling in it than meeting friends for miniature golf or mango picking. I’m looking forward to our next three years together too. Old Yella never disappoints (though it does sometimes infuriate!)

What about you? Are you hooked on crosswords? Writers might enjoy them more than a lot of people, if only for the exotic words that pop up here and there. Plus, there’s the satisfaction of getting through a tough puzzle without looking up any answers.

Small victories, eh?

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18 comments on “My crossword to bear

  1. Charles Yallowitz
    July 11, 2014

    I come from a family of crossword puzzle people. I’m hit and miss with them. Saturday puzzles tend to stump me.

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 11, 2014

      Yeah, Saturday’s tough, but I also lose my mind with acrostics. Just don’t get ’em!

  2. rossmurray1
    July 11, 2014

    I had taken to doing the NYT Saturday puzzle for a while, usually because it took me days to finish. I need to get back at it. Damn you, Scrabble app!

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 11, 2014

      I found that the Saturday puzzles were a form of torture, so I had to give them up. Turns out I’m not a masochist!

  3. Phillip McCollum
    July 11, 2014

    Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and Kakuro… These are my crack.. When I was traveling a lot for work, I filled out many of Mr. Shortz’s yellow books.

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 11, 2014

      They’re perfect for travel, aren’t they. And if you’re with your mate, a travel Scrabble board is a necessity…

  4. sknicholls
    July 11, 2014

    The rocket scientist loves crosswords and sucks me in every week. He has one particular writer he enjoys working the puzzles of, so he’s pretty specific. Some puzzle makers change the rules. I am his go to for certain solutions, especially food/cooking, flower/plant, and art questions. So I help when I can.

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 11, 2014

      Tell him he’s cheating if you answer a clue! It’s the same as looking it up. 😉

      • sknicholls
        July 11, 2014

        Never. We’re a team 😉

  5. MacNutt
    July 11, 2014

    My brother creates them professionally! No, really!

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 11, 2014

      Why didn’t I know that?! Somehow, I imagine his are really tough… Where would I find one?

  6. ericjbaker
    July 11, 2014

    I tried to make Star Wars crossword puzzles as a child. They didn’t measure up to the standards of crossword puzzlry by a long shot. That was my last encounter with the things.

  7. 1WriteWay
    July 12, 2014

    I like puzzles in general, but the NYTimes crosswords are too challenging for me. There. I’ve said it. I’m too stupid for the NYTimes 😉 I hate acrostics.

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 12, 2014

      Oh pshaw! You know you’re not too stupid for NYT puzzles. Once you understand that almost every clue is a trick of some kind, you approach it with a different mindset. Then again, sometimes you get ones like: Coolidge’s Treasury Secretary, and you go, “WTF?!”

  8. deniz
    July 16, 2014

    I love crosswords too! Sometimes it takes us all week to get the Saturday ones, but it’s very satisfying to finish them (especially doing it without Googling any answers – not to imply that you do. But apparently some people do. What’s the point of that?).

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 16, 2014

      Ha! I admit, sometimes I cheat, but only when I have a puzzle about 98% complete and have been pulling my hair out for three days!

      • denizb33
        July 17, 2014

        True, in that case it makes sense – but it’s always so disappointing when it turns out to be something random and silly instead of an intriguing bit of trivia… I start thinking, gee I could be obscure too!

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This entry was posted on July 11, 2014 by in Et alia and tagged , .
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