Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Jason and I each have many nerdy qualities. I won't go into them all here, but one of mine is that I really like to do crosswords. I started doing them in high school, when the otherwise less-than-stellar local paper launched a daily insert that had two puzzles, including the one from the NY Times. Before I got into them, I thought of crossword puzzles as part of some weird, indecipherable culture. But once I started, I was hooked. I love word games and puzzles, and I find it immensely satisfying to fill in the little squares. Plus I have a lame punny sense of humor, and crosswords allow me to exercise that as well.
On Monday of this week I went to the main library on campus to work on a paper that was due on Tuesday. I find that I can accomplish in 2 hrs in the library what it takes me at least 4 to do at home. Anyway, as I walked in I noticed a sign that there was a crossword competition that afternoon with prizes for first and second place, hosted by Special Collections in conjunction with their new exhibition on dictionaries. I thought, hey, that sounds interesting. But then I remembered watching the documentary Wordplay and how intense those people were. I'm more of a leisurely crossword doer, and I don't mind leaving squares blank if I can't figure them out. So I figured it probably wouldn't be worth entering. After working on my paper for a couple of hours, I decided to head out after a stop at the ladies room. As I walked there it turned out that the crossword competition was taking place in the lobby right outside. So I figured, what the heck, and went up to the table to get the puzzle. It turned out to be a pretty easy one, and I finished in 7 min 12 sec, which seemed pretty good to me but I had no idea how many other people were competing or how good they were. It was worth the few minutes, plus I got a free cookie, and I figured that was that.
Then today I got an email telling me that I'd come in first! I won a $30 gift certificate to the campus bookstore, which to a poor grad student like me is not a minor sum. So I'm glad my nerdiness has finally, literally, paid off.
Posted by Jessica at 10:13 PM