Cross Words

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?”

“Ah, no!”

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.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!