Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cryptic Challenge

Yesterday my sister laid down the challenge by text message. In the weekend's Sydney Morning Herald, turn to the cryptic crossword and do 9 down. Not one to back down from a challenge I got the paper and flicked to the puzzle section and put the brain in gear (which was a tad tough considering my night before). My brain needed to wake up once I saw the clue - Abandoned the port taken by the Addams' butler (4,2,3,5).

The cryptic crossword is previously something I have often just thrown quizzically glances at while I attempt the quick crossword or sudoku. But I am not one to turn down a challenge in a hurry and there is always a first to give this thing a good go.

9 down at first glance looks like the usual gobbley gook that is the cryptic. But amazingly the brain was working. The Addams' Family butler = Lurch. So looking at the letters it must be something in the lurch. And abandoned can be leave or left and then port is also the lefthand side of a boat so it must be .. left in the lurch. Ah ha, this was actually feeling good.

From then on I was heading into unknown territory, actually getting some of the clues. Next up was .. Casual wear for panzer commanders (4,4). Pretty easy .. Tank tops. Then there was .. A bit of a pickle for a tiddly pet dog (1,5,4). Took me a while but worked it out eventually .. A tight spot.

I am now suddenly discovering that getting somewhere with these cryptics is a lot more enjoyable than just a normal crossword .. until of course you start to dry up with the answers. I got a few more out and checked in with the sis to find out that she had a couple I didn't. But at least I now also know what my New Years resolution is, to see if I can complete a SMH cryptic.

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