Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Let's play

The guardian quick crossword, appearing 6 days a week in the Hindu, has been one of my favourite spaces in the newspaper. Unlike the Sunday crossword, I do not end up developing a ‘I – know- nothing’ complex after solving the crossword. Quite often I end up filling in all the white boxes (albeit many a time wrongly) and what follows is a sense of complete elation at having beat the crossword at its own game.

The crossword is after all one impish gamer.It dodges you and you chase it. And when you think the chase is almost over and there's just one clue left to decode, it throws at you a googly. Try which way, you can solve that clue only by stepping into the shoes of the troublemaker. Take for example, the clue that reads: ‘old sphinx (6)’. You have just one letter of the word from a cross word (s_ _ _ _ _). You break you head, search up all your neurons, still finding nothing you decide to make use of technology (yes! After long moments of debating whether or not to give the final credit of solving the crossword puzzle to the artificial world, you decide in its favour) and wiki arrives! But alas, wiki doesn’t give you any synonym for the sphinx.

You google and you arrive at no results either. What in the world was the sphinx called earlier and why in the world does wiki not know that, and If wiki doesn’t know it, and nor does google, then how in the world do they expect someone to decrypt the clue? A mania of sorts grips you and an obsession to outbeat the crossword. And that’s just where it ends. The crossword has won.

The next day you inquisitively pick up the paper and turn first to the second page of metroplus ( and without first having a look at calvin and hobbes), frantically look for the answer that dodged you all of the previous day. ‘sphinx’. You read and you re-read aghast. You are angry. And then suddenly you are amused. Of course! The old sphinx was never called anything else. It was always the sphinx. Wiki knew the answer after all. And so did you all this while. But the crossword won because it played while you competed. There’s a fine line between the two but what makes all the difference is which side you choose.

1 comment:

V said...

Almost all! impressive... The guardian quick crossword is fun with all the Gk aspects of it..

Fine line b/w playing and competing! very true.. nothing more to add to it