My friend Monica, who plays a lot of sports, once told me about the day that volleyball slowed down for her. She had been playing for months but the learning curve so steep that even after all that time, all she could do was scramble to process what was immediately happening. Then one day, just like that, she could suddenly see the game as a whole. She was able to anticipate where the ball would be in a second's time and, therefore, where she needed to be.
About a year ago, I experienced the same thing with cryptic crosswords.
From time to time, when I'm solving a puzzle, a word comes to mind that fits the pattern of letters and blanks in the grid, and satisfies the definition portion of the clue. Technically, I've got the answer. But unless I figure out the riddle, I am not satisfied: the rush that comes from cracking the setter's code evades me.
I'm a writer, explorer, amateur setter of cryptic crosswords, and new mom.