November 11th, 2019

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Things That Irk Me 3

Somewhere along the line I'm sure I've mentioned that I enjoy doing crossword puzzles.  For the most part, I work the ones that regularly appear in our local newspaper.  I don't see myself as a fanatic, but enjoy doing them while having my morning coffee and generally and sometimes gingerly adapting to the new day.  One of the two puzzles seems to be consistent in its level of difficulty and I can nearly always complete it.  The other, from a well known, back East newspaper varys tremendously in how hard it is to complete.  Early in the week it seems fairly easy and I can usually finish or come close to finishing it.  As we get further into the week it becomes more and more difficult to where sometimes I have just a few clues answered by the time I give up.

Now it doesn't bother me not to finish or to be able to decipher only a few of the clues given.  What does bother me is looking at the solution the next day and discovering that I could have disregarded what I have always thought to be crossword puzzle rules in order to solve the previous day's puzzle.  I've always understood that the answers should fit into the squares provided, one letter to a square.  But every now and then the solution as shown two or more letters in a single square.  A recent puzzle had several instances of "ring" showing in a single square.  And yes, "ring" figured in many of the answers I was contemplating, but it never occurred that I could fit it in one square.  I've also seen answers start or end outside the provided squares, with maybe the first couple or the last few letters being outside the provided diagram.  If the correct answer/solution to the clue is "Goodnight Irene,"  there should be sufficient squares to write that into the diagram.  I shouldn't look the next day and see "GO" printed outside the diagram.  And don't get me started on discovering that I could have substituted numerals for letters...

So I always thought there were rules to how crossword puzzles were constructed; rules that those solving the puzzles follow.  It irks me to discover that the creators of these mental exercises choose to step outside the normal boundaries.  If they do, there should be some sort of notification provided.

Wishing all who served a meaningful VETERANS' DAY!
Dave

Me, not long before retiring from the USN and right before Jessica was born.