Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stocking Up on Crosswords

I began my crosswords obsession in 1972 when I started work at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply's Community Relations Office. I came on board when there was a lull in the action, and found myself with quite a bit of time on my hands once I'd read all of the material in there.

Believe me, within a couple of weeks, I was just as knowledgeable as anybody else in the office ... not that there were that many of us (only four, including the secretary).

So every day, I did the crossword puzzle in The Honolulu Advertiser (morning) and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin (afternoon). The Advertiser puzzle was harder, but I soon mastered both. I then moved on to big Sunday Star-Bulletin & Advertiser puzzle. That was challenging. Plus, they were free with the newspaper subscription.

Anyway, the reason for this little walk down Memory Lane is because I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and replenished my supply of Sunday crossword puzzle books – one book of 54 puzzles, four books of 72 puzzles each, and a fat mega puzzle book with 300 puzzles. Sixty bucks worth, the harder and more challenging, the better.

The clerk at the register gave me a look (they always do that), as if to say, "What? Have you no outside life?" or, "You don't look THAT intelligent." I just say, "This'll hold me for a couple of months," and smile enigmatically.

I prefer the spiral-bound ones because the covers can be folded back, making it easy to work them. As for the fat book (which I keep by my bedside), I generally rip out the page when I've done one side, then turn it over and do the other side, tossing the sheet away when I'm done.

One of the regular books stays in my travel carry-on bag to be worked on while flying, or in my hotel room.

And yes, I do them in pen (the complimentary hotel room pens are perfect).

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