Four Letter Word

I love solving crossword puzzles. My favorite time of the week is Sunday night when the Monday puzzle is released. I subscribe to the New York Times crossword puzzle app on my iPad. Will Shortz is the editor. It was very hard for me in the beginning, but I soon loved the feeling of figuring out answers bit by bit. Then to complete the entire puzzle felt like an accomplishment. If you are wondering what drew me to this interest (and maybe you are not), I will first tell you that I have been around the most avid crossword puzzle solver for all of my life. My dad. He did not begin solving on a regular basis until my teen years.

Not only does he begin his day with the folded paper and pen in his hands, he has also written a book about this “passion” of his. I would not refer to it as an addiction, but close to it. There have been some days when he visited that we had to drive to several different stores in search of that newspaper that somehow is in low supply and high demand here in Virginia. My dad is smart as a whip. He uses no dictionary, no online googling, and barely even asks the people in the room for help. In the book he wrote several years ago, he gave a background for how his interest in crossword puzzle solving began. Then he went on to give advice about how to tackle the puzzles.

Now I must admit that initially I only read through his book for his narrative about his developing passion and his references to our family. The crossword puzzle solving did not interest me, and in fact, kind of frustrated me. He had a tip about solving the “gimme’s” and then gave some example clues. These are supposed to be the super easy ones. Well forget it, Dad. His idea of a “gimme” and mine were two different things. These days I know exactly what he meant by that. I believe I was not in the mindset to think like that when his book came out. Just a different stage in my life.

For over a year now, I have eagerly solved two to three puzzles a week. My favorite is the easiest one which is Monday. I also like the themed puzzles of Wednesday or Sunday. I do not use paper, pen or pencil. I like the iPad and sometimes we airplay it up to the tv for several of us to collaborate. I kind of got my daughter hooked too. When the puzzle is solved completely and correctly, a little jazzy tune plays and the time it took is revealed. I admit I get a little bit of a rush when hearing that tune!

What does any of this have to do with puppies? Crossword puzzle solving takes concentration. Puppies need attention. As I said before, when they nap, I read, write, or get things done around the house. When they are awake, I am focused on them, keeping them on a schedule and watching for important signals from them… Last night, I got distracted. Can you blame me? The Monday puzzle was revealed, I attacked it successfully in under thirty minutes. The puppies played at my feet with chew toys and pouncing around. Then it grew quiet. Too quiet. I jumped up to take them out, but was a little too late for something I found on the hardwood floor by the door.

Clue: stinky canine palindrome (four letters)


  1. Puppies rule, crosswords …… well they don’t! But they both keep you healthy and happy!!! Love your blog! Makes me smile.


  2. ahh the dreaded POOP! As the daughter of a crossword puzzle addict i can appreciate the madness. My mother adamantly declares every Sunday that the magazine section is hers. And she only does the puzzle in pen…which makes me twitchy. Happy puzzling!


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