Here at Bookwitch Towers we know how to have fun. Only the best enter-tainment will do. So you might ask why Daughter and I are sitting here with bad crosswords.
Codewords, really. A couple of weeks ago the Guardian Codeword caught my eye as I was idling after a meal. ‘I will have a go,’ I thought. ‘I know it’s simple stuff, or I won’t get very far, but I’ll have a go.’ Though I did show belief in my abilities by starting off doing it in biro.
It went well, and I was impressed with how they’d arranged the first couple of ‘free’ letters, making me think, just the right amount. Enough to exercise a few grey cells, but not driving me to despair. And biro was just fine, I’ll have you know.
We don’t get the Guardian every day, so there was a supply problem. Daughter reminded me that she has one of these puzzle and crossword books, where by happy coincidence the codeword pages had mostly been left for us to find now.
But oh dear how bad they were! You fill in the given two or three letters and they get you nowhere! Nowhere at all. According to Daughter they are all made by machines. I can believe it. I imagine the Guardian ones are too. But that someone has coded (see what I did there?) the machine to choose good letters. Ones that make you think just the right amount.
So you have to cheat. With the puzzle book ones, I mean.
One of us ‘does’ the codeword and the other one helps by cheating. I might decide we need to know what letter no. 2 is, for instance, and I will glance at the solutions page only long enough to see what no. 2 should be. And if that’s not enough, we might cheat with no. 19, or some other letter.
No wonder people feel cheating is all right, if a product you pay good money for requires it in order to do what you are meant to do.
Yesterday’s new Guardian word for Daughter was ululate. It was brought to her by the letters u and l. Quite educational.