Posted at 10:41 PM on April 2, 2006
by Valerie Kahler
Filed under: The blog
Hello. My name is Valerie and I'm a crossword puzzle addict.
I started with the soft stuff, the gateway puzzles. TV Guide, People magazine. Soon that wasn't enough, and I was buying puzzle variety books from the drugstore. Then I graduated to the newspapers' daily crosswords, where I quickly learned the difference between "TMS" and "NYT" puzzles. Tribune Media Service, you see, published crosswords I could do Monday through Saturday...but the New York Times got more difficult as the week progressed, and I'd be hopelessly over my head by, oh...Tuesday. But I kept plugging away, learning the familiar characters, little by little. Hersey's bell town, 5 letters. Swiss canton, 3 letters. Saarinen father and son, 5 and 4 letters respectively.
It was time for the New York Times Sunday Crossword. Oh, the rush of that first completed grid! I wanted to experience it again. Conveniently, it took me about a week to finish a puzzle so I'd just start again with the new Sunday crossword.
With time and practice, I got better. Faster. And I couldn't wait til next Sunday for a new puzzle. Enter the NYT Crossword Puzzle Omnibus - a series of compilations, each with a hundred or more puzzles.
Some people watch TV. Some knit. For me, the last few minutes of consciousness before sleep are spent wrestling with letters.
Here are a few from a crossword I finished this week. The puzzle is by Alfio Micci, and was titled Musical Excerpts.
29 ACROSS Air from Borodin's Polovstian Dance No. 2 (18 letters)
43 ACROSS Song from Tchaikovsky's Andante Cantabile (12 letters)
63 ACROSS Tune from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 (13 letters)
82 ACROSS Pop song from Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu (23 letters)
99 ACROSS Air from Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 (13 letters)
119 ACROSS Melody from Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess (12 letters)
137 ACROSS Borrowing from a Borodin Nocturne (18 letters)
First person to post a reply with all the correct responses wins a freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil.