I have had a lifelong affection with words. An avid reader of fiction as a child and teenager gave way to becoming a student of nonfiction as an adult. Along with that goes forty-one years of random writing experience and eighteen as a magazine publisher. It should come as little surprise then, that I also enjoy crossword puzzles.
When I work a puzzle, I rely solely on the mind: mine and sometimes my family’s. (I used to tap all available non-human resources, but upon enduring merciless harassment after buying a crossword dictionary, I swore off artificial assistance.) Unfortunately, I am, quite ironically, a poor speller. (My “flexible” pronunciation of most words doesn’t facilitate spelling accuracy either.)
My wife often endures the brunt of my spelling deficiencies. It might go something like this:
“How do you spell Cat?”
“It’s not with a “K?”
“Could it be four letters? Like K-A-T-T or K-A-I-T?”
I ponder a bit more. “I can make kitty work if it only has one T.”
“No, there are definitely two Ts in kitty.”
I contemplate the situation some more, but I’m no longer thinking of a 4 letter word for feline. Instead, I’m marveling that a person with orthography issues, such as mine, could so immensely enjoy crossword puzzles—and generally complete them quite effectively.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.