Puzzler in Training

Based on my blog, it seems like all I do is eat.

In truth, I think about food a lot.  And I really enjoy meal planning and cooking for others.  But I have managed to fit a few things besides eating into my schedule.

Now that I'm living this life of leisure (yeah, right . . . why is it that I feel so busy without a job?), I have the time to learn new things.  At least I hope I can learn something new.

Although I had never completed even one, I let it slip one day last month day that I'd like to be good at crossword puzzles.  This seems like a good life goal, right?  Plus, down the road it's sure to have health benefits.

Shortly thereafter (actually, I think it was within hours of my utterance), I was kindly surprised with a 185-page book of "easy" crossword puzzles.  Now I had to give them try.

The first puzzle took me two days.  I was motivated.  And Byron, a bit of a crossword whiz, graciously helped out a bit.  Then, puzzle two took me three weeks.  Not too impressive, huh?  That said, I'm now working on puzzle four, and I think it's getting a tad easier.

People say you develop crossword skills -- whatever those are.  Mostly, this new hobby has shown me what skills I'm missing.  First, I'm not much of a speller, and this turns out to be a bit of problem in the world of crosswords.  Second, much like my inability to get jokes, crossword clues seem to wash over me without effect.  Byron says getting the clues is all about being literal-minded.  Whatever.

Taking up crosswords has brought back all the frustrations associated with learning something new.  But the flip side of this learning curve is the happy feeling of satisfaction that comes with finishing one.  And then I start another.

Complaints aside, I enjoy the workout my brain is getting doing these puzzles -- that is, when I'm not cheating by looking up the answers in the back of the book.  I'm not a puzzler yet.  But I will be.

My first completed crossword puzzle!


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