Ordinarily, I can work through the New York Times daily crossword puzzles. Monday is a sleeper, Tuesday a tad less so, Wednesday begins cranking up, Thursdays become obnoxious, but then comes Friday. Saturday is supposed to be the tough one of the week, and often I can spend a couple of days off and on wrestling with arcane clues about 12th century dignitaries, obscure hip-hop stars, literary quotes no one ever heard of, and the like. But yesterday's (Friday's) puzzle "takes the cake," so to speak. After finishing about 80% of it with only a half dozen peeks at dictionaries and a couple of Googles, I hit a stone wall.
For instance: the clue is "Lincoln, maybe." The answer in Saturday's paper is "RACNWOT." Say what? I could have worked a hundred years and never figured that one out. Or take the clue "Half of any odd-numbered interstate highway system." You're smart, right? So what's the answer: "SENALDNUOBHTRON." Isn't that just so clever to spell it backwards? I figured out immediately that Lincoln was "Town Car" but who in his or her own rational mind would think to spell it backward? That technique is just plain nasty. Now you know how to get the other word. Evil methodology. I mean, I like a challenge in a crossword puzzle, but these two are just plain evil and sadistic. I can see the puzzle maker after sticking those clunkers in thinking "boy, these two will take care of those morons." And that is just the start. I am sure the geniuses who can whip out the NYT puzzle in 15 minutes flat were congratulating themselves on their brilliance and feeling nothing but pity for the rest of us slow-witted puzzlers. I am almost afraid to look at the Saturday puzzle which upon cursory glance has a whole lot more stuff in it I can answer right off. Like there is Sue Grafton, Kinsey Millhone, and writer Eggers. A few anchors so I can keep going. So why do I keep punishing myself with the NYT puzzles? Well, what else is there to do besides post photos and write sarcastic remarks on my blog? Have a nice day, and see how long it takes you to finish the NYT Saturday puzzle. Good luck.