If, like me, you awake on Saturday morning with a thrill of excitement, knowing that Fraser Simpon's cryptic crossword awaits you in the Globe & Mail, you will have felt crushing disappointment this morning. In today's puzzle, the clues don't match the grid.
This isn't the first time it's happened, although it's rare. A few years ago, when I discovered that the grid didn't match I reverse engineered the grid based on the clues provided. (That was back in my pre-toddler days when I had more time!) It was so exciting to be able to share the right grid with all of you. I even got a shout out from the public editor at the Globe & Mail, which was a lot of fun. And it brought me in touch with other cryptic crossword fans, including one named Sally who has been compiling Fraser Simpson's grids for years just in case a mismatch happens. She kindly sent me her library.
So, let's all give Sally a big "Thank you!" Because when I saw the mismatch today, I immediately dug out her old email and located the right grid. I'm happy to be able to share it with all of you. Happy puzzling!
Have you ever renovated?
We spent the entire fall in the throes of a major house reno. It was tons of fun, everything worked out well, and I learned a great deal. The most important lesson was the golden rule of construction: measure twice and cut once.
This is smart advice to take literally but it's also a wise principle to apply more generally. Spend a lot of time planning. Review your work. There will be fewer mistakes and when surprises do crop up, you'll be better prepared to deal with them.
Planning carefully is key to producing a good cryptic crossword puzzle, which is why I was so surprised this past Saturday when there was a mistake in Fraser Simpson's cryptic crossword in the Globe and Mail.
My father, a born engineer, has spent his entire life taking things apart in order to figure out how they work. At fourteen, he attached wheels to a push lawnmower and made his own go-cart. At nineteen, he deconstructed and rebuilt an air compressor. When I was four, he built an entire car (The Lolley Trolley) from scratch.
To my father, the world is a collection of systems whose mysteries are one careful disassembly away from being revealed.
I'm a writer, adventurer, amateur setter of cryptic crosswords, lover of "ah-ha!" moments, and exhausted mom.