September 4th, 2011


The integrity of my crossword experience

Another piece of truth: sometimes when I do crosswords, I need help, and look up info based on a clue. As I did today via Google because I didn't know the first name of New York Representative Nita Lowey. That's not the truth (though it is true). The truth is: once I fill in an answer based on the help of Google, I then no longer cross off clues. Those later answers aren't necessarily mine, you know? Maybe I would've eventually figured out the other words, but I got help, and even one word can have so much of a role in figuring out the rest of the puzzle.

That's also me denying myself that little moment of satisfaction where I cross out the number next to the clue. It doesn't prevent me from possibly groaning at a bad crossword pun, but that's almost always a hazard of the crossword business. (A hazard I once wrote lyrics about.) The point is, at some level my mind maybe thinks that MAYBE I DON'T DESERVE THAT MOMENT OF SATISFACTION ANY MORE. I didn't earn it!

Gee, now I'm psyching myself out about ever doing the later-in-the-week New York Times crossword puzzles. Maybe I should try doing those. In pencil.

...oh, yes, I do crosswords in pen. Yes, you should be impressed.

Maybe I do earn some crossword-based satisfaction.