Category Archives: Puzzles & Games
Last weekend, my son, Ethan, had a sleepover with two friends for his birthday. One gift he received was $10 and a copy of a PC game that he enjoys playing with this friend, when he’s at that friend’s house. ~sigh~ Both my husband Martin and I didn’t think it was the most moral thing to do — to play a copied game. I agreed that if it was shareware, he could keep it, but otherwise, he’d have to give it back. It wasn’t shareware. Ethan was tremendously disappointed.
But, as I looked online, I saw that this game was fairly old, and now there is a 3rd version of it, as well (of course) as a 2nd one. The newest version? $40. The 2nd version? $30. The oldest version, which is the one he wanted? We found it on eBay as a buy-it-now, new in box, for $8.99, including shipping. So, he got a legal version of the game with the money given to him by his friend. We purchased the game Wednesday night, and it arrived in today’s mail. Everyone is happy.
Have you ever known someone (or read of someone) who says something like, “I can complete the Sunday New York Times crossword. In 10 minutes. In pen.” I view such people with a mix of annoyance, consternation, and envy.
I no longer get the daily paper. I like to read, and I like to stay up on current events, but this comes into conflict with my schedule. Being a homeschooling mom of four, newspaper reading has become a luxury that I could no longer afford — from a time standpoint, not a monetary one.
Every once in a while, though, the newspaper person will drop a free daily paper on my driveway, and I take this as a sign from God that I’m supposed to allow myself the time spent on doing the daily crossword. 😀 (The newspaper is the Arizona Republic, but they publish the syndicated United Feature crossword.) As mentioned, I can’t do it in 10 minutes, and I never use pen, but given the chance, I can almost always complete the whole thing with no assistance (no dictionaries, atlases, or asking hubbies for help), working on it off-and-on throughout the morning. Today’s, I filled in every answer, except for two letters. I think I know what they are, but not for certain, so they stay unfilled-in.
Today’s crossword success soothed my sense of being just-shy of illiterate after tackling yesterday’s NY Times crossword. Ugh. We do get the Sunday paper, and nearly every week, I pull out the crossword, thinking — wrongly — that my knowledge and crossword skill has now elevated to NY Times status, and that, surely, I can complete it this time. The best I’ve ever done is about half. And that took me working on it all week.
Last night, after our family spent a fun — but extremely hot — hour and a half in the back yard throwing the baseball, eating ice, and hanging out together, I curled up in the corner of the couch with my pencil, atlas, the dictionary, and the Sunday NY Times crossword, which our paper carries in syndication. (For the Times puzzle, I do allow myself those two helps — the atlas and the dictionary, though, frankly, the dictionary rarely helps.) After a while spent on it, my hubby glanced at my progress, and encouragingly said, “Whaddya got? Four words?” 🙄
This morning, determined to improve on my twenty words or so completed — not four, thankyouverymuch! — I decided to sit down at my computer and do a bit of Googling. Quickly, I got the answers to three words that would have otherwise completely evaded me. I felt a mix of triumph and dissatisfaction. More on the “dissatisfaction” side. It felt a bit… unclean. It felt like cheating.
So, it’s back to feeling beaten by a bit of newspaper, and humbly admitting that I’m not (yet, anyways!) the type who can whip those out with no effort.