Hmm, Puzzling!


nyt crosswordsDo any of you do crossword puzzles? I do. Specifically the New York Times Crosswords. I have a book of 500 daily crosswords in the bathroom, and I have a book of 500 Sunday crosswords in the car.

The dailies are generally a lot easier than the Sundays. I finish about 8 out of 10 dailies in single sittings, but when I finish a Sunday crossword, it really feels like an accomplishment.

I never look anything up; I would consider that cheating, and I also don’t look up the answers in the back of the book when I’ve gone through the whole book. I simply start over, going through the crosswords that I didn’t finish the first time around.

There are crossword puzzle apps, but I prefer the books. It took me a while to figure out how to do the crosswords digitally, and I found it extremely annoying. I want to see the whole puzzle at once; I want to be able to pencil some letters in lightly to see if that will jog my memory, and you just can’t do that on an app.

I don’t do the crosswords just for the sake of finishing them. That’s why I do the NYT puzzles. I like the challenge. I love figuring out what word is asked for and coming to the solutions from different directions.

What I love about the NYT puzzles is that most of them have a few cryptic clues. It can take quite a while to figure out the code, and once I have, the rest is relatively easy.

Since I moved my Sunday puzzles to the car, I’ve been working on the same one for months. When I pick it up, it’s almost like snuggling under the covers with a book and reading where I left off. It’s familiar, but there’s still more to do.

If you puzzle, tell me about it. What rules do you set for yourself? What kind do you do, and where?

9 responses to “Hmm, Puzzling!

  1. I love to do the NYT Sunday puzzle also. Sometimes those clues can be quite cryptic! I do my best to finish them without any help but if the next Sunday is approaching I will go to the internet and use it like an encyclopedia and avoid the sites that just give you the answers. I figure then, I’m at least learning something new 🙂

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  2. i love them too, especially sunday. i use pen, don’t cross out clues, don’t look up answers, love to learn from them. do one pass with everything i can fill in, come back later and usually more answers fall into place )

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    • Barbara Backer-Gray

      Pen! You must be really good!

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      • not great, just trial and error, but i love the feel of it. have you ever seen ‘wordplay? it’s the documentary about crossword people and the big competitions and about will shortz. feel more normal now that i found that bill clinton and john stewart do theirs in pen too )

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      • Barbara Backer-Gray

        No, I’ve never seen Wordplay. I’ll look out for it!

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  3. I’ve tried kiwi puzzles but they contain too many celebrity names I don’t know. SO I got a few Dutch puzzle books (Denksport 3 and 4 star).
    These keep me occupied at times I have the puzzle bug.

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  4. I used to do cryptic crosswords, but Sudoku came along and I abandoned them for so long that I started to forget how to decipher the cryptic clues. One day I will get back to them. Recently though I’m spending so much time reading blogs, that puzzling time is very limited. 🙂

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  5. I used to do the daily crosswords when I worked at a newspaper, since I often had free time (I was the obit writer). I enjoyed them at the time, but stopped when I left the paper.

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    • Barbara Backer-Gray

      You were the obit writer and only the obit writer? What a waste of your abilities to have you do crosswords. But at least you had fun.:-)

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