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!