I was working on a crossword puzzle yesterday, had just started actually, when I was presented with a gift by the puzzle maker. A five letter word for “What you post on Pinterest.” You post pictures, a computerism for picture is image, I-M-A-G-E is five letters, write that puppy down! (OK, so I get a little excited when I’m puzzling.) From there I moved on. And on, and on. After the first pass through on the acrosses I had a handful of obvious answers, another handful that I had no idea where we were going wih, and most that could have been one of two or three choices and would have to wait for at least the first down trip through the grid to be clearer. Fairly normal for me.
On the first round through the down clues I came across another present from the riddler until I started filling in those squares. That’s when I ran smack dab into my Pinterest picture holder so to speak and discovered that one of those gifts was more fit for a Trojan. I left that one and moved over a space and found a similar misread. Hmmm, perhaps my image wasn’t the perfect picture. (Stop it!) It wouldn’t be the first time I encountered a gimme that was anything but. After all, if crossword puzzles were easy nobody outside of the Pyrenees would know what an ibex is.
So I worked my way around a time or two again and came back to the five letter word for a Pinterest post. Staring at me from those black and white squares was this. _ H _ _ O. I decided I needed a break. Actually by then I needed a bourbon but a coffee refill was closer so I took that road. And the caffeine was clearly what I needed to clear my cloudy brain. It’s amazing what you can come up when you stop thinking, in this case stop thinking about the Pinterest part of the problem and bring the real riddle into focus. As in a picture. As in a photograph. As in P-H-O-T-O.
And then I beat myself silly for being less than stellar with that one. But then I stopped and thought about this some more. We already have conceded that crossword puzzles are a bit of a challenge but the challenge should be challenging like “what a snake does to its skin,” (6 letters) or at least like “to hasten oneself,” (3 letters). Not a word nobody has used since Fotomat went out of business.
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?
PS. Who uses photo anymore. Pic. Image. GIF. Visual even. But photo? Sheesh!
PPS. If you’re wondering, the answers are “slough” and “hie.”