News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Liz Ciancone

August 6, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: Puzzles do make the best games

TERRE HAUTE — I come from a family of game players. Mom and Dad would pass the evening hours with a cribbage board sitting between them on a table.

Of course, I learned cribbage. I also learned to play rummy and 500 and pinochle at an early age. But I never did learn to play euchre, and I wish now someone had taught me to play that. Mom played bridge, but Dad did not and would not learn. I could not be bothered with old maid and slap jack. I thought that was too easy, but I did figure out the rules by careful observation.

One game that no one shared was a game with oneself — crossword puzzles. The morning paper became a race between Dad and Grandma to see who could get first shot at the puzzle. When Dad was traveling, Grandma always got first try because Mom was busy fixing breakfast and, if Dad was home, Grandma would defer to the man of the house. I never did learn to defer.

I did look forward to growing up so that I might subscribe to a newspaper and have a crossword puzzle all to myself. As it was, anyone with a spare moment would add a letter or two as they passed the table holding the puzzle, but by the time I got home from school, only the hardest words were left for me.

Maybe because I never got the paper first when I was a kid and was stuck with the hard clues, the daily crossword became less and less of a challenge. But, finally, I believe it was in a magazine called “The Saturday Review,” I found a challenging puzzle. I discovered “quote acrostiks.”

We did not subscribe to the magazine, but the school library did, and I would work away at the desk — I volunteered as a student librarian so I got a good shot — and I’d puzzle away. The library also was a source of reference books which I considered a fair way to get assistance. If I got it right, the answer spelled out a literary quotation, while the first letters of the clues provided the name of the author and the title of the work.

I still prefer those puzzles above all others, but any old puzzle will do in a pinch. I have found that I now need to work with pen and ink so I can see the clues and write in the letters. Ink does not erase well and some of the more difficult puzzles are illegible when I finish. I once saw an ad for a pen with erasable ink. I wish I had saved it.

I have discovered the print magazines with nothing but acrostiks! Wow!

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to opinion@tribstar.com

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity