I like mental puzzles. I take great pride in my ability to do things like Sudoku, or logic puzzles, or codewords, or crosswords. I do them at home, on lunch breaks, and even in the bus on the way to and from work. This takes a bit more skill because sometimes the bumps on the road come exactly when I am writing down a crucial word or number. This doesn’t really bother me though. It isn’t the greatest frustration that I have. The greatest frustration comes when crossword puzzles are too easy, too predictable, or seemingly rather lazy.
A couple of years ago at my work, several people used to do the crossword puzzle as a group. They enjoyed doing it…but after a while they had to mix things up. I came upon them one day and witnessed a strange scene. The person holding the puzzle said the answers and they had to guess the clues. They were quite proficient at it. I guess the puzzles had gotten rather predictable.
As of late, the puzzles that I am doing (featured in the “free” newspaper) have been full of lazy clues. So many of them are suffixes and prefixes, or words that wouldn’t normally need an s–but do in this case only. One TV show (How I Met Your Mother) has the main character saying they always use the same clue because they need the vowels–I didn’t realize how true that was.
For the next week, I won’t be doing the crossword puzzle, because it has become too predictable. I could blame it on myself. I am the one who chose to do the “free” puzzles. If I were smarter, I would go to the bookstore and get a book of tough crosswords. Then, at least, I wouldn’t complain about easy and lazy crosswords.