Sunday, November 25, 2007

New York Times crossword puzzle

I used to help my father do the NYT crossword puzzle when I went to visit. Some years ago he discovered that it can be done online, so he subscribed. This September I signed myself up. I do it in his honor and because I like stretching my brain this way each day.

Until Dad told me, I didn't realize that the puzzle gets harder as the week progresses, from Monday through Saturday. Monday I can do in well under ten minutes, but Saturday takes me forever and I usually have to resort to Googling some of the more obscure answers. Sunday is easier than Saturday but bigger.

Dad did the crossword puzzle up until the week before he died last February at age 86. As I solve the puzzle, I think of him sitting at his desk still in his pajamas and blue bathrobe, stroking his chin in thought and then triumphantly filling in a clue.

I wonder what he would have said about Rex Parker's New York Times crossword puzzle blog. Would he have enjoyed it or would he have thought of it as cheating? Dad was just getting the hang of reading my blog. Maybe he would have begun commenting on Rex's blog, joining the community. To date, I only read the comments.

I'm as addicted to Rex's blog as I am to the puzzle. When I'm really stuck, I let Rex help me out, but I do as much as I can before reading it. I've come to think of Rex and the many people who comment on his blog as my companions and a kind of cheering section.

(Rex has another fun blog called Pop Sensation, a cheeky look at vintage paperback covers. Highly recommended!)

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