Some Puzzles are Good

Crossword and coffeeWhat is it about the human brain that likes solving puzzles for fun? Those little or not so little mysteries we can't leave alone. And the diversity! From computer games to jigsaw puzzles to sudoku to detective stories, there's a puzzle for everyone. Although computer games have long been my puzzle of choice there's a classic brain teaser challenging my grey matter: the crossword puzzle.

I wasn't keen on crossword puzzles as a kid, they were too much work to be fun. Rooting around dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias for answers wasn't my idea of a great time. In fact, it seemed more like a form of playtime terrorism. Crosswords remained on my “no fly” list until a few months ago. A certain friend of mine has a habit of pulling out a crossword and making it a community event. Damned if I didn't enjoyed it, and double-damned if I didn't enjoy enough to go solo.

So why the flip-flop? The Internet for one. With websites like dictionary.reference.com and Google, looking up the hard clues isn't onerous. The other is I'm “all growed up" now. I don't know that I'm "well read" but I certainly have a larger vocabulary, and I've got enough life under my belt to get the pop culture references (I know who "Johnson of TV's Laugh-In" is, and that John Wayne was called "The Duke"). If I'd only dated a nice Jewish girl at some point in my life I'd have all the major clue categories covered.

Newspaper BoxesIt's only fitting at this point to thank the two free Vancouver dailies: Metro - Vancouver and 24 Hours - Vancouver. I'm not a reader of their content but appreciate the daily dose of crossword puzzle they give me throughout the week. Crosswords may be sedentary but I get a small activity offset when I take my pre-lunch stroll to grab my fix. Their newspaper street boxes are conveniently located just around block. I find the 24 Hours crossword easier and do it over lunch. The Metro crossword is done in the evening after dinner. On the weekend I have the North Shore News. Coffee is involved with all.

Speaking of coffee, lunch rituals, and crosswords, it's time to for a little walk. Food, drink, and a puzzle beckon.

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