Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Ram Sang

I am having my morning coffee in my favourite cafe, doing the Cryptic Crossword, as is my wont. A guy comes in and sits at a table near me. He orders a coffee, takes out his pen and opens at the puzzle pages. I watch to see if he is doing the Cryptic or the Quick. He fills in a clue on the Cryptic. He glances up and sees that I am on the Cryptic. We exchange looks. Right On Word Friend! Who would bother with the Quick?

Another guy comes in and sits down at the table under the window. He orders a coffee, takes out his pen and opens the paper. Crossword Guy and I watch... Cryptic or Quick? He turns to the puzzles... he puts his pen to the paper and starts on the... Sudoku...

Crossword Guy and I just look at one another and shake our heads.

15 comments:

Anonymous Pil said...

You and Crossword Guy should have been pumping the air and patting each other on the back. You are both probably still able to talk to your loved one after dinner, read books in bed at night and just sit and enjoy the view on holiday. Not like the rest of us poor souls who desperately need to join Sudoku Addicts Anonymous.

What is it that is SO addictive???

January 26, 2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

Necessity. Deducktive necessity. Who can live witout THAT?

P.S. Whatsa cryptic crosswerd? I no itsa crosswerd, but does it have a cryptogram aspect to it? Esplain, please!

Joey loves cryptograms. Aint nevr done a Sudoku alla way -- but only cause evry time I start one, somone insists on strikin uppa convrsation wit me bfore Im done. Basterds.

January 26, 2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Pil: Sudoko Addiction... you know me, big fan of numbers, but I just don't get it....

Joey: Here in Australia the distinction between the Cryptic and the Quick is that the Quick is just sets of definitions. As in : 1 Across: The capital city of India (5) = Delhi. The Cryptic is puzzling sets of clues that include anagrams, wordplay, puns and so forth. The British don't make this distinction; a crossword is by necessity Cryptic. They don't have the inferior 'Quick'.

I don't know how it is in the US.

January 26, 2006 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Pil said...

OK, I give up. What's the answer to A Ram Sang?

January 26, 2006 9:34 PM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Now I want Cryptic Crossword. *sigh* Yet another reason to head way south.

re: a ram sang - by special arrangement, of course.

January 26, 2006 10:32 PM  
Anonymous anne arkham said...

I kinda like the Sudoku.

January 27, 2006 2:31 AM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

Oddly, I kinda agree wit bofe Anne AN th Revrend about Sudoku.

Once ya get th hanga it, it DOES start to seem MERELY time-consumin -- not zackly like a real CHALLENGE. But at th same time theres sompm ... ummm ... calming in doin em. I can surely unnerstand th addiction.

I think "Sudoku" is Japaneez fer "brain-thum-suck," ainit?

January 27, 2006 4:14 AM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

Oh yeah. One more thing on "cryptic crosswerd": Coud you give a xampl of how anagrams are werkd inta th clues? I mean, does th clue xplicitly INDICATE that a anagram is calld fer?

I aint sure if we gots them kinds ovr here. All I no is we gots th kind thatll insult yer inteligense an those thatll make yer brain hurt.

Course, you no that Joey Polanski can make ANY werd fit inta ANY space, an can decode a cryptogram t make it say any friggin thing he wants it to say, rite?

January 27, 2006 4:40 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Anne Arkham: *shakes head*

Pil: You really don't want me to tell you. You'll kick yourself. Well you would, if you could ;-) Hehehe.

Joey: Yes, the clue tells you (cryptically) how to look out for an anagram. For instance: 'A ram sang medley of scrambled fun words (8)' (in fact, this is a particular cunning example, because both 'medley' and 'scrambled' might indicate the anagramatized word). One end of the clue always contains the actual meaning of the word, so in this case you would be looking for either a word that meant 'a ram sang' or 'scrambled fun words'. Since there is probably no word that means 'a ram sang', then you're looking for a word that is a 'medley' of 'a ram sang' that means 'scrambled fun words'...

See Pil, I told you.

And of course Joey, you can stick any ol' things in there if you want, but then it's sort of like Sudoku... ;-)

January 27, 2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

DANG! Thats kinda crafty! Im pretty sure that none o th "syndicatd" crosswerds ovr here woud qualify as "cryptic." Have you foun any websites that offr sompm you woud considr comparable t th ones in yer noosepapr?

I feel I gotta try my han at one o THEM!

P.S. Hmmm ... that Sudoku coment gims me a idea. Letters! Im gonna start usin variables in th Sudoku! My genyus is fritening!

January 27, 2006 2:10 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Yep, 'frightening' was certainly the first word that jumped into my brain. followed quickly by 'insane', 'sad', and 'megalomania'.

You can do the current Sydney Morning Herald Cryptic here. They may make you subscribe to the site but they don't send you any junk.

January 27, 2006 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Cissy Strutt said...

I confess to both the cryptic crossword & Su Do Ku. But I know that I am bound to the cryptic for life (a well-made puzzle can make you laugh out loud when you solve it), whilst Su is just a fling - honest, I just have to get it out of my system. I was at my favourite coffee place yesterday morning, opened up my paper, took out my pen & started on Su. An elderly lady sitting at the next table caught my eye. "You too?" she sighed. "It's an obsession" I responded. With a smile, she turned back to the paperback she was reading ... Agatha Christie.

January 27, 2006 7:26 PM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Don't know if these puzzles qualify as "good" but they seem to fit the description.

January 28, 2006 3:55 AM  
Anonymous slead said...

You say potato and I say Potato. (doesn't work without the accent) but you get the drift, Viva la difference. This is what makes the world interesting. You like the Cryptic, I like Sudoku. Some of the best games are the simplest and you often wonder why they would hold your attention.

January 31, 2006 4:46 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Yep, but I still don't get it...

January 31, 2006 4:48 PM  

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