Monday, 10 February 2014

Addicted to Crosswords

My mother got me started on word games.  Usually, once or twice a week when I was little, she would choose an extra long word from the dictionary, the Bible or the Viking Desk Encyclopedia and we would see who could find the most small words in a given time.  There were few rules just one- you couldn't use a letter twice in a word unless it appeared twice in our big word.  I remember we worked with Mesopotamia once, probably gotten from the encyclopedia.  She still works out a crossword puzzle each day usually from the newspaper, but she also has puzzle books around that she uses from time to time.  Mom has also developed her own crossword dictionary with frequent clues written into notebooks; when you first glance through them, you think it is written in some kind of code with words like au or qu. 
When I visit her these years, she is always up for a game of Scrabble, something we both love.  This is when those crossword notebooks come in handy.
I work on a crossword puzzle each day myself.  In fact I am a little addicted because my day doesn't seem complete now without it. These years I'm working out Adrian Powell's crosswords found in the Ottawa Citizen.  For many years, I used Walter D.Feener's puzzles in the National Post.  In fact I was so accustomed to Walter's style it took me some time to adjust to Adrian's.  I use a couple of crossword dictionaries including the one shown. 
I've read that working on word games like crosswords is good for the brain. It seems to be holding up for my mother who is still as sharp mentally as she always was.  Hopefully, it can work for me too...fingers crossed...