Crossword Puzzles: It's official

I’ve become an old lady.

During downtime at work, especially when I’m across the street at SportsWorks. I’ve taken to doing crossword puzzles, since some of my other coworkers do them, as well as sudoku. As I loathe numbers and have a head for useless trivia, I decided , meh, what the hell.

And now, I’m hooked. Anyone else have a liking for crosswords?

I love the New York Times crossword. Here, the Sun Times carries it and it’s part of the reason I subscribed to the Sun-Times instead of the Tribune. Add to that the fact that the Sun-Times has a patternless crossword, and I’m sold. The Tribune’s crossword is boring.

I’m not terribly good at them, but I can usually get through Monday through Wednesday’s puzzles most of the time. Thursday it starts getting pretty hard (and Thursday is usually my favorite puzzle), while Fridays and Saturday’s are nigh impossibly for me (I finish maybe one out of every 15 Friday puzzles). If you’re not familiar with the New York Times puzzles, they get harder as the week progresses, with Thursday’s puzzle sometimes having an unusual clever twist in it (like multiple letters in a single space).

Most other crosswords I find pretty boring. There really is something to the way Will Shortz edits the clues that makes the puzzles more entertaining than most.

I’ve been doing crosswords since college. I’ve worked on puzzles from various sources but the New York Times is definitely the most challenging and always my first choice. I’ve had an account with the NYT for years which allows me to do all the crosswords online. Does that make me old, too?

Perhaps it’s because I associate them with my grandfather, who is a fiend for crosswords. My cousin Amanda once collected the puzzles for days for a year from the newspaper, and gave them to him for Christmas. Ditto the people who do them at work, tend to be older people.

And back in the day, my other grandfather used to do them as well, according to my mother. (He died when I was seven).

I found an old, discarded book of my grandfather’s when we were cleaning out the house. I’m almost all the way through it, and I need to get more.

I’ve worked on crosswords since I was in my late teens. It was what my Grandpa and I would do together, as I spent a good portion of summers at their house, and later after I moved in with them for a few years.

I’m not that great at them, sometimes I get pretty far and others I can’t do for squat, but I love them. Reminds me of sitting with a mug of coffee and discussing the clues. It was just our thing (like my brother’s thing with him was cars).

I even went a little crazy and picked up the GameboyDS version of NYT crosswords… this will keep me busy for awhile…

I have been doing them for many years. The NYT weekend puzzles are in the Detroit Free Press. Sometimes it just falls together and sometimes it is a bitch. I let it sit around and spend a few minutes then go back next day. Great for the bathroom. The Wall Street Journal Friday puzzle is challenging too,.

At twickster’s suggestion, I competed in the 2005 National Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, CT. It was a lot of fun, though I haven’t been back. I placed 81st out of 500ish, and I was 9th among rookie competitors. I got a little trophy.

I don’t hold a candle to twickster, though.

Liking crosswords isn’t for old people. I’ve done them since I was a kid. I’ve filled puzzle magazines from the newsstand and done the ones in daily papers. I’ve even been known to complete such diversions as diagramless crosswords, and related puzzles such as acrostics.

Among them all, the New York Times Sunday puzzles are my favourites. My Mom turned me on to them, and when I was younger, the two of us would race for our home-delivered copy of the local paper that carried them. Now, I’ll buy the collection books, and get one done in a couple of hours. If I’m travelling somewhere, I grab an NYT Sunday collection book and off I go–I’ve done puzzles on aircraft, trains, and buses; and in bars and restaurants when I’m by myself somewhere not at home. And if by chance, I forget to pack a collection before I go, I buy one at my destination–which explains why I’ve got so many collection books of NYT Sunday puzzles.

But they’re not the diversion of only old people. Heck, I’ll sit on my front porch with an NYT Sunday puzzle, and not yell at the local kids to get off my lawn. I’m too young to do that–yet. :wink:

I’ll confess to cheating and looking in the back of the books. Sometimes it’s because it names “Compass Point” or whatever-although I can usually tell from the words around it. Or to make sure I’m spelling something right, or confirm an answer.

But sometimes, it’s plain, old-fashioned cheatin’.

I don’t take the paper myself, and I’m too cheap to subscribe online, but I love to do the NYT puzzle when the one from the paper at work hasn’t already been taken.

My favorites, though, are the Cryptic Crosswords and World’s Most Ornery Crossword from Games magazine. The cryptics are brutal and often take me a week to finish, but they’re great fun. I love to hand someone a completed puzzle and challenge them to explain why my answers are correct. Even with the answer, the clues can be a mystery.

Guin, you shouldn’t ignore Sudoku. They aren’t anything like crosswords, but they also have nothing to do with numbers. They just happen to use numbers to mark the squares. There’s no math whatsoever. Give one a try sometime.

My mother enjoys crosswords, and jumbles, and since she has been diagnosed with vascular demensia I’ve encouraged her pursuit of same. I’ve also bought her BrainAge stuff on Nintendo Ds.

I love cryptic crosswords, the tougher the better.

I simply cannot do cryptics. They drive me insane. I understand there is a bit of background you need to know before you can do them (as in the types and rules for clues in cryptics), but even studying up on those rules, I don’t think I’ve ever even answered a single cryptic clue.

Sudoku bores me. Most of the time, it’s too easy, and when it’s not, it’s simply not satisfying. Too much of the same. I get much more joy out of well-constructed crossword clues.

Another crossword fan. I’ve tinkered with them on and off as long as I can remember but was going through a recent career change and started spending time with them on a daily basis - now I’m hooked.

If nothing else, helps keep the old noggin dusted and cleared of cobwebs.

I’m still got a lot to learn, but I thoroughly enjoy them.

Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart, to name a couple (and me, too).

You should check out the documentary “Word Play”. It’s all about the NYT crossword puzzle, the people who create them, editor Will Shortz, the people who love to solve them and the big tournament.

I love ‘em. I just picked up New York Times Crosswords for the ol’ Nintendo DS and I’ve been filling the spare moments with it ever since. I just got my first A+ on a Tuesday puzzle last night. :smiley: I still can’t do Thursday or later without a hint or two, but I’m getting better. :wink:

I’ve been doing them for years; I did NY Times puzzles regularly back when I was in high school. Most other puzzles bore me, though the Washington Post is OK and I’ve been enjoying the puzzle in the New York Observer.

At this point, though, I like a nice cryptic crossword. It’s hard to find them in the US, though.

Every Sunday, my husband and I pick up the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for the sole purpose of getting the NYT Crossword Puzzle. We sit down at the kitchen table with a couple of well-crafted Bloody Marys and spend a great hour and a half (last Sunday we completed in one hour and five minutes!) We are fans of Mr. Shortz (although he is often cursed, as well!) We agree that Word Play must not be missed by anyone who enjoys the pursuit.

I used to manage a single-screen movie theater, so there was a lot of downtime. I’ve had a subscription to the online NYT Crosswords for a while, so I would print them out and we’d solve them as a group. Monday - Wednesday were pretty easy and were usually done during one show. The rest of the week’s puzzles mostly got solved through several shifts. It’s fun (and humbling) to come in the next day and find that someone on the evening shift was able to get those clues you couldn’t figure out, and then you can add answers they didn’t know. We rarely finished Saturday puzzles but instead I’d print out Sunday’s on Saturday evening so we could finish that by Sunday night (we didn’t get that much time between shows on the weekends).

And then I got a real job, so I’m left to solve the puzzles on my own. Lot harder that way.

I was going to say my mom is an old fogey who does crossword puzzles with pen but also with an electronic NY Times crossword machine with a stylus. It lets you save the puzzle and come back to it; very fun.