I have had a lifelong affection with words. An avid reader of fiction as a child and teenager, gave way to becoming a student of nonfiction as an adult. Along with that goes thirty years of random writing experience and seven as a magazine publisher. It should come as little surprise then, that I also enjoy crossword puzzles.
When I work a puzzle, I rely solely on the mind: mine and sometimes my family’s. (I used to tap all available non-human resources, but upon enduring merciless harassment after buying a crossword dictionary, I swore off artificial assistance.) Unfortunately, I am, quite ironically, a poor speller. (My “flexible” pronunciation of most words doesn’t facilitate spelling accuracy either.)
My wife often endures the brunt of my spelling deficiencies. It might go something like this:
“How do you spell Cat?”
“It’s not with a “K?”
“Could it be four letters? Like K-A-T-T or K-A-I-T?”
I ponder a bit more. “I can make kitty work if it only has one T.”
“No, there is definitely two Ts in kitty.”
I contemplate the situation some more, but I’m no longer thinking of a 4 letter word for feline. Instead I’m marveling that a person with orthography issues, such as mine, could so immensely enjoy crossword puzzles—and generally complete them quite effectively.