Three things in the book caught my particular attention.
The first was Hadfield's advice to start making choices that are consistent with your long-term goals. For example, when he was tempted, in childhood, to skip his homework, he would ask himself which a future astronaut would do -- complete his homework or slack off -- then, act accordingly. (Hint: no one gets to be an astronaut by slacking.)
The third thing that caught my attention was this:
Chris and Helene Hadfield do the New York Times crossword puzzle every Sunday.
Now, you know how I feel about regular crosswords merely being a gateway to cryptics. If I had my druthers, everyone who likes regular crosswords would give cryptics a shot. That's mainly why I posted my cryptic crossword tutorial. So when I read that last detail in Hadfield's book, I thought: "I wonder if those two have tried cryptics."
Because a professional setter presumably would, I decided to invite the Hadfields to try cryptics. I know it's a long shot, but on the off chance that they are interested, I want to be prepared. That's why I've spent the last three weeks making them a personalized cryptic crossword puzzle.
It hasn't been easy to find the time while caring for a newborn -- the puzzle was written in the rare moments when my daughter actually slept somewhere other than in my arms -- but here it is.
Want to try the puzzle? You can download it by following the link on the right. As you'll see, I've marked all the clues that are personalized to the Hadfields (based on general trivia that is in the public domain) with asterisks.
It's possible that, like Hadfield's "Rocket Man", all the effort of making this puzzle will come to nothing.
But it's also possible -- improbable, but possible -- that they'll try it and become converts to cryptic crosswords.