Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Crossnerd


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.

3 comments:

Liz said...

LOL! The serendipity of it all! I have got to send this to Grandma, Uncle Michael and Aunt Susan, and Aunt Pat. They will be so proud of having another crossword puzzle nerd in the family!!

Liz said...

LOL! The serendipity of it all! I have got to send this to Grandma, Uncle Michael and Aunt Susan, and Aunt Pat. They will be so proud of having another crossword puzzle nerd in the family!!

Robert said...

You can't go wrong with $30 and a cookie! I'm so proud of your accomplishments, I guess all of that "high priced" education is finally paying some (albeit small) dividends!!!