How I fell in love with ‘Crossword puzzle’

June 14, 2007

by Vishwanathan

I was in my teens and ours was a joint family in those days. My grandpa, uncles, aunts, elder brothers, not to forget my dad himself, were all ‘cryptic crossword’ cronies. It was a common sight in our house to see two people huddled up in a corner with a newspaper cutting of the ‘crossword’ quietly discussing the probabilities of a word that could answer a puzzle. As I was considered the ‘not so bright’ boy in the clan, I was always shooed away whenever I made an effort to join them in solving the puzzle.

This made me more determined and I decided to  pursue the art all by myself. Initially, it was mind boggling and I could not understand the head or tail of this blessed crossword. Besides I used to get headaches by constantly staring at the chequered piece of paper. But then I realized that I was not attacking it the way it should and that it needs application of lateral thinking to break the jinx!

After more efforts, more logical reasoning, many more bouts of headache and my ‘not letting it go Scot free’ attitude, I pugnaciously worked at it: The result – I struck pay dirt at last with a word for a puzzle which I found was ‘the word’ by all logical means. The rest of the going was pure symphony!

I’m yet to master the art of completely solving the crossword for which I’ve to improve my general knowledge as well as hone my command on the language which is a little rustic at present. I’ve achieved 80% success with ‘The Hindu’ and about 60% success rate with ’TOI’ cryptic crosswords.

The thrill that you experience when you solve a puzzle is to say the least is ecstatic! The most congenial place to sit and solve the puzzle according to me is when you are in the Rest Room. Yes, believe me it’s true. Mind you, it’s addictive as well! Try it out…Happy solving!


8 Responses to “How I fell in love with ‘Crossword puzzle’”

  1. Hi RK,

    You’re streets ahead of me – I’m hopeless with cryptic crosswords!



  2. rk Says:

    this article is by mr.vishwanathan. and from what i’ve seen, he is great at cryptic crosswords!
    take care

  3. I just dont have the patience to sit and complete one. Suduko is the latest fad. Just a small puzzle can guzzle up hours of work and like vish points out its pure escatacy at end.
    It helps one relieve the mental pressures too.

  4. TSSM Says:

    Ah, crossword buffs !!!

    as they say,

    if you are the type, ‘Intel inside’
    and mental (ability) outside,
    then you can solve them!

    otherwise, it is a case of ‘dental’
    i.e. (hull-halkachchodhu).

    cryptic clues go over my head.
    however, I remember an old clue.
    clue:-the naked president.
    ans:- ‘Nixon’ (nicks on).

    crossword buffs,
    with cigarette puffs,
    (a strict no no now),
    and steaming mugs (of coffee),
    and enjoying the stuff,
    so, carry on folks .

  5. TSSM – Super geethe…. looks like lots of do’s and dont’s there…

  6. neel3 Says:

    Crosswords and other puzzles are certainly addictive.
    But the satisfaction they give at the end are worth the time spent on them.
    I also feel refreshed and mentally more agile after solving them(if I manage to..)

  7. bachodi Says:

    Some how i feel SUDOKU is better than crossword. Is there any inference ? on my personality ?

  8. latha vidyaranya Says:

    if you are good at sudoku, keep it up. our fancy for cross word puzzle or sudoku only implies whether we are numerically inclined or verbally inclined. for some people digits and numbers give them a high and for some letters of the alphabet and their twists and turns give them sheer pleasure. both are mentally taxing and one should have a higher threshold for frustrations! you need to have that challenging spirit to attempt these and succeed! and the addiction spreads and catches everybody around. everyone would want to contribute to its completion and what a nice way of team work and cooperation! the ecstatic celebration upon completion and the excitement of looking forward to the next day’s puzzle are to be experienced to understand the simple pleasures of life and how good they are as stress busters! and i am sure these mental aerobics, a puzzle a day, can keep the alzeimers away!

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