I understand that our government is busy but I think it’s about time they turned their attention to something that has been plaguing this nation for years. Crossword puzzles. Maybe I’m over reacting but I consider myself a crossword aficionado. (starts with A ends with O ten letters- fan, devotee, lover) I have crossword puzzle books all over my house and I spend many productive hours yelling at these books because of some stupid clue.
I started with the easy crosswords. They had clues like, Honest ---Lincoln. Three letters, starts with A ends with E. They use Abe’s name a lot. Della Reese is also pretty popular on these puzzles because you can make a lot of words off Della. I was pretty happy for a while and felt really smart since I could usually fill them out pretty quickly. However, I eventually got tired of reading clues like; acorn’s tree (Oak) dog doc (vet) coffee vessel (urn) diva’s solo (aria) job for a band (gig), etc. So I moved onto the medium puzzles. They had clues like this: Oak tree’s nut (acorn) Vet’s canine specialty (dog) aria singers (divas) gig employees (band), etc. After a few weeks I decided to move onto the hard puzzles and that’s when the trouble started. By the way, did I mention I do all my crossword puzzles in ink? It’s erasable ink but still! Which brings up another problem, can crossword puzzle makers not come up with a better paper for their puzzles? Here I am happily filling in the little squares with words like, fig, gem, odd, and pooh, (as in Winnie-the-____) and my pen dies. I’ll lick the tip of the pen and it will work fine for a while and then I have to bring out the Bic lighter. But I digress…
The hard puzzles weren’t so bad until I read a clue that said: _____ the discussion. The first few letters were ‘tab’ so I figured the answer would be ‘tabled’. But it didn’t fit. Finally, after at least three minutes of hard thinking, I cheated and checked the answer in the back of the book. The answer was ‘tabled’ but, they spelled it ‘tabelled’. They misspelled the answer to the clue and I was livid! I’ve always assumed that crossword puzzle makers were bearded men sitting at long tables, carefully thinking out their clues. I even imagined conversations where one of them would look over his glasses at the man next to him and say something like, “Bernard, is corn-husker state a good clue?” So what idiot had misspelled ‘tabled’. I no longer trusted the crossword puzzle geniuses. This is where I think the government needs to intervene. If you misspell a word just so it will fit with a word like ‘llama’ you should either be sent back to elementary school or to a federal prison like Leavenworth. I’m pretty touchy about spelling so it was difficult to write ‘tabelled’ but I wanted to finish the puzzle. It still bothers me. In fact I’m thinking of sending them a strongly worded letter. This is what I have so far:
Dear Crossword Puzzle Maker,
You are an (five letters, incompetent, unintelligent). You probably need a (seven letters, shows direction of magnetic north) to find your (three letters, braying farm animal).
Do you think I’m getting my point across? I have to admit this is only the second misspelled word I’ve found but that is no excuse. The only thing that’s worse is some of the clues for the hard puzzles. These are actual clues I found in one of my books.
Daughter of Hyperion- 3 letters
Mephistophelian One-5 letters
Joey Newton’s horse- 4 letters
I have no idea who Hyperion is much less his daughter’s name. Ditto on Joey Newton and his horse. Words like ‘Mephistophelian’ just give me a headache.
The answers are:
Daughter of Hyperion-Eos
Mephistophelian One- Satan
Joey Newton’s horse-Fury
I had to look up two of these but I’m proud to say I knew the answer to “Mephistophelian one” after I figured out they were talking about Mephistopheles. I’ve read my share of Faust so I’m not a complete, 4 letter word, extinct bird.
There is an excellent website called crosswordtracker.com. You can type in clues and it will not only give you the answer, in case you’re too lazy to turn to the back of the book, but it will also tell you how many times that particular clue has been spotted in recent crossword puzzles. I use this site a lot when I’m doing the Sunday crossword in my local paper because who wants to wait a week to find out that Adamson’s lioness is Elsa? There was also another clue that said, “Lawyers thing”. It only had three letters so my initial answer, which had four letters, starts with D, didn’t fit but I finally figured out they were looking for ‘law’. That’s another thing. When they give clues like: Honey Boo Boo’s first name, I’m lost. I don’t watch that show. In fact I don’t watch a lot of the shows that are on these days. Congress should make it a law that if they are talking about TV in their clues they must mention at least four classic TV shows from the 1960’s and 1970’s. I know all of those. By the way, Honey Boo Boo’s first name is Alana. I had to look it up.
You may not take crossword puzzles as seriously as I do but, it’s a great time waster. Sort of like the internet only a lot cheaper. I never spend more than $3.00 for a crossword puzzle book which might be why I find misspelled words in their answers. There is nothing more relaxing for me than sitting on my front porch swing on a warm summer night, while doing a few crosswords. Just me, the birds singing, the smell of the Magnolia trees, and my neighbors screaming, “Elba! Napoleon’s place of exile was Elba you moron!” Happy crosswording!