Evidence that Fran's husband may need to ask her for a more specific Christmas list
I've nearly missed my bus many times. Buses sneak up on people with their heads buried in books, then hurtle past to punish you for not staying alert. There are some bus drivers around here who probably keep a joyful tally of the number of people they've outwitted this way.
Never mind missing buses, though. My bigger problem, currently, is that the book I'm carrying around is filled with general knowledge crosswords. My husband bought me this for Christmas, forgetting that I do not possess General Knowledge.
I possess only Generally Forgotten Knowledge and it's so far down, at the very ends of my brain neurons, or wherever knowledge resides, that I would need major surgery to retrieve any of it. It may even be in my pancreas, having slipped down my body through neglect. Some may be in my little toe. It may ALL be in my little toe. I stubbed my little toe on a door jamb last week, so even the knowledge I do have may all be dead now.
|The least I can do is to keep my knowledge warm|
I am good at crosswords which ask questions about words and meanings and synonyms and metaphors. This is just as well. I get paid a monthly salary for knowing about these things and teaching them to others.
So, I enjoy clues such as 'Very angry (7)' and happily write in 'furious'.
I can do 'Very angry (6)' - 'raging'.
I can even do 'Very angry (12) - 'incandescent'.
But, at the moment, my crossword daily experience is causing me serious anguish.
The bus is late. I open the book to a new crossword, and frown for a while over 3 Down 'Small spiny fish (12)'
Not having taken much notice of nature for 55 years now, this question is not in my skill set.
My eyes shift to 40 Down 'Province of South Africa (9)'.
Having been thrown out of most of my Geography lessons at school, I pick another. 51 Down 'Malayan dagger (4)'.
I didn't pay attention in 'Foreign Weaponry' either, so I try again. 47 Across 'Author of Ode to Joy (8)'.
I think Ode to Joy is a musical piece but the word 'author' confuses me. I leave that one for the time being. I might ask my musician husband later ... if I can humble myself that far down.
It's a good thing it's a book of jumbo crosswords. I still have about 70 more chances in this crossword for the knowledge that isn't dead in my little toe to make its way back up.
Here goes. Surely I can do 'Edicts of tsars (6)'.
Maybe 'Container for melting metals (8)'
I'll try 'Relating to Greek political union (11)'.
Or perhaps I won't.
'One of the Furies (7)?'
'Roman name for York (8)?'
'Former football field position (7,4)?'
'State capital of Georgia (7)?'
By now, I feel like one of those poor people on Mastermind whose mind goes into whiteout and who keeps saying 'Pass', 'Pass', 'Pass', 'Pass' to every question, knowing that the watching public feels sorry for them on the one hand and spectacularly entertained by their tragic fall on the other.
|The number of times each of them wanted to die during questioning|
I go back to 'Seraglio (5)'. Is it a type of pasta? A dance? A disease? A type of adhesive? A Spanish form of greeting?
There are 60 jumbo puzzles in the book, each with 100 or so clues.
I have a lot of serious anguish still to come.