Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Life goes on … one NYT Sunday crossword puzzle at a time
Long-time readers of What The Hell might remember that I’m addicted to my NYT Sunday crosswords, in collected form, that is. Back in ’14, I reported I was halfway through my collection bought in 2011.
Update: Now I’m halfway through (and then some) my next collection, bought in 2018.
What’s the appeal? I’m not entirely sure, aside from the large pleasure I get out of completing a puzzle without having to look up any of the answers. Which, by the way, isn’t too easy with New York Times puzzles. You need to have Jeopardy-ready breadth of knowledge, stern patience, a geologic sense of time, and spare moments you don’t know what else to do with. You should know your Hebrew months and alphabet, the capitals of obscure African nations, scores of Latin phrases, genus names of rare and common plants, the historic records of all sports teams, and a great love of punning.
Sometimes the puzzle writers are too cute by half and throw you curves that seem impossible to catch up to, but gradually you start to figure out the trick. O, and brother, if you’re able to finish one of those toughies without any lookups, you’re having an excellent week, take it from me.
At the rate I’m going, I might finish this collection in a year or so—faster than I did the earlier book. Two collections, eleven years.
If I were morbid, I’d calculate the number of these collections I might have left to get through in this life. Fortunately I’m not that morbid, even if it’s hard to forget that our days, like the puzzles in these books, are numbered.