Friday, March 26, 2010

From within the Grottoes of My Mind

Photo: Schristia, Flickr Creative Commons

I've been doing a lot of crossword puzzles lately. I found a daily puzzle on Yahoo, which apparently uses the same puzzle as a few of the major daily newspapers. I've never been much of a puzzle person. I tend to get bored quickly with things that aren't easy. I'm more of a trivial knowledge kind of guy. I take the path of least resistance and for me answering trivia questions and randomly spouting didya-knows is easy. Puzzles of almost any type require a little thought and time and my brain starts going going all "squirrel!" before too long.

Maybe that's part of why I'm suddenly and moderately addicted to the crossword. I blame Chris. I think he mentioned doing crosswords on a regular basis a while back and that put the bug in my ear. For the past couple of weeks, I've done at least a puzzle a day during the work week and I had been doing them on occasion for about a month before that. It was only earlier this week that I realized I'm actually pretty good at these things. I'd probably be a flop on the competitive crossword circuit, but I average just over 30 minutes on the Yahoo puzzles, although I admit there are usually a couple of clues I'll have to Google at the end to fill in that last corner of the puzzle. Today, though, I managed to finish the puzzle in 28 minutes and 13 seconds without any outside assistance. It was just me and my brain.

I intentionally referred to my brain there as a separate individual. I've been a little creeped out by the part of my psyche that I don't have full conscious control of during these sessions. For example, back on Wednesday, I was doing a puzzle and the clue was "Specialized lingo" and it was five letters. Instantly the word "argot" popped into my head. I didn't bother to type it in, though. It was ridiculous. I didn't even know what argot meant. I mean, I'd seen the word before and could spell it, but I didn't have a clue how it was used. Sure, one of the crossing words had stuck an "o" in the right place, but that meant nothing.

Later on near the end of the puzzle when I couldn't find anything else to go there, I typed argot into Google to check the definition and sure enough, the reptilian brain back there behind my frontal lobes had come up with the right answer instantaneously. I fully assume that there's a tiny, but genius, troll living in a cave carved out of my gray matter communicating with my consciousness using saliva and a tiny battery to tap out messages on exposed nerves. There's no other explanation. Science cannot tell me otherwise because if it tried, I wouldn't understand the explanation and therefore it has to be magic.

He must have tapped into my blood stream for sustenance. I just wonder where all of the troll poop goes. Probably onto this blog.

By the way, I'm over my minor freak-out over missing the electronic registration for the Peachtree. I contacted the organizers and they promised to e-mail me a copy of the registration Monday when the AJC releases the digital copy to them.


Courtney said...

I've always thought your blog radiated a distinct aura of troll poop.

I also do crossword puzzles all the time, usually while I'm watching TV. I'm no longer capable of unitasking.

Jacob said...

The people who multitask the most tend to be the worst multitaskers.

A Free Man said...

I stopped doing crosswords when I moved to the UK because the puzzles there confused the holy hell out of me, they're of an entirely different style. I haven't done one down here, but may need to have a look at one just out of curiosity.

Jacob said...

When I was looking for alternative sites while my work network was blocking Yahoo's puzzle, I came across a site of links for different puzzles. There was a separate class for British puzzles and one was even labeled "very British". I didn't check to see what that meant because so much of American crosswords require cultural knowledge that I just assumed I wouldn't have a clue.

Chris said...

How funny that I turned you on to crosswords. I haven't done one in months. And you're probably much better at them than me, because knowledge of trivia really is a major factor in crosswords as well.

Maybe I'll have to try your Yahoo puzzle. But if I do really badly, I won't tell you about it.

Btw, good luck with the Peachtree registration. I hope you manage to get signed up.

Julie said...

I haven't done a puzzle in a year. I've been so busy at work ther's not even time to check my personal email and the time I might have in the evening is now taken up by checking my email.

I only did crossword puzzles when I ran out of Sudoku on and didn't think I could get away with playing Bejeweled at work. I don't have the vocabulary to do crosswords.