A small change

A while back I realised that I was buying a certain daily newspaper solely because I liked the crossword. Over the years I have found the paper’s editorial stance had grown to annoy me but I stubbornly paid out 6 days a week just for the crossword despite this. I decided that this did not make economic sense and opted to buy a book of crosswords every few weeks and to vary the newspaper I bought so that I might get a broader ranger of opinions.

This plan worked regarding the reading material. I was surprised to find very good writers and journalists in papers and magazines I had not previously considered buying. But the plan did not work as an alternate source of crosswords.

I like to unwind at the end of a day with a crossword. This has to be difficult enough to challenge and take time but not so difficult as to frustrate and defeat. An aspect of doing crosswords is that repeated attempts means one learns the author’s clues and tricks. As I was a gadfly, flitting from paper to paper, I never learnt any one author’s style and could not enjoy a relaxing half hour with any one paper’s crossword.

This problem was confounded by the level of crosswords in the crossword magazines – these quickly become too easy, as one quickly means the rules, and then lose their appeal.

However, I found a way to circumvent this problem. As I was sitting doing a puzzle I noticed that I filled the grid in using block capitals. I have always done so and limited enquiries suggest others do the same. On a whim I decided to change to using lowercase, non-capitalized, letters. Instantly the problems became significantly harder – what s once irritatingly simple was now satisfyingly challenging.

I am sure that this will only be a temporary solution but it does work at the moment. I suggest you try it as a simple and free solution to crossword ennui. Don’t be constrained by block capitals surprise yourself with an exciting excursion into lower case.