lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Missus Em falls in love

Sudden arbitrary affection that springs
out of some perused lines — and love happens

Instantaneous and full-blown affection and falling in love happens regularly to me. I read a few lines of a blog post, I fall in love.

A chance made comment and I fall in love. A lovely picture and I fall in love. A haunting tune and I fall in love. A memorable voice and I fall in love. I fall in love with turns of phrase, mannerisms and more. I fall in love with poets, writers, musicians, crossword compilers and bloggers.

I fell in love with Wodehouse. I fell in love with William Hazlitt's critical essays. I fell in love with Coleridge's prose (yes, you read that correctly). I fell in love with Kipling and Mark Twain and Thurber. I fell in love with Terry Pratchett. I keep falling in love with Shakespeare over and over again.

I fell in love with Rembrandt, Van Gogh and others. I fell in love with Rafi. I fell in love with Balamuralikrishna and TN Seshagopalan.

I fall in love with such regularity I think it must be a syndrome. There is a name for it probably and I just haven't Googled with the right search words.

Of course, this is an extravagant way of saying it. Appreciation and admiration is what it amounts to. But 'charmed, I'm sure' doesn’t quite have the dramatic ring of 'I'm in love', does it?

The latest episode of my falling in love happened this Monday. I look forward to the first Monday of the month, as the Guardian Genius crossword appears that day. This month's puzzle is set by a new compiler, Lavatch.

I read the name with wild surmise. Not a day after we played the Shakespeare game, I thought. I took a printout and did some research. Apart from being a clown in All's Well That Ends Well, it turns out that Lavatch is a compiler of crosswords. This was the first time I saw the name in the Guardian crosswords, though. (I don't do the Listener crosswords, I know my limits.)

Like always, the puzzle had special instructions:

Each across solution contains a body part. However, these have been swapped around to appear in the diagram in the same order as on a person. Definitions in the clues give a real word or phrase; subsidiary indications lead to the required grid entry with the swapped body part. (The first number(s) in brackets after these clues indicate(s) the real word or phrase and the second number(s) the required grid entry,) For example "Corresponding publication about rent (8); (7)" has the definition MATCHING and the grid entry MATEARG ("ear" having been swapped with "chin").

I have solved the down clues (and there are some gems there), and am wrestling with the theme clues now. I can't say more about it because this is a prize puzzle, so it will have to wait until next month.

But I can announce to the world that a new planet has swum into my ken, and Missus Em is totally in lurve.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I envy people who do crosswords...!! cryptic is really cryptic for me.. anyplace for starters??

7:27 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

My condolences to K. Something tells me he is chuckling quietly in the background.


9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to larking, I see. But thanks for the link to Maltese Cat. A lovely story. Same for Many Moons.

11:56 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Alien- That question is too complicated for me to give a concise answer. Start with quick or concise crosswords, keep at it, and most of all check the solutions next day to see how they were arrived at. Practice and more practice.

I can't recommend crosswords though, unless I know what newspapers you read and so on. There are plenty of crossword sites on line, though.

Rimi- Actually, he is gnashing his teeth. He thinks that crossword violates the spirit of crosswords and is too clever by half.

Ash- Yeah, Maltese Cat is a favourite story. Ditto Many Moons.

5:59 am  
Blogger Priya said...

I am in love too;) Now go figure!

2:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will remind you of this post when you next scold Rimi for declaring love at persons who comment here.

That crossword sounds awfully complicated.

2:52 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Priya- Wait till we meet, I will drag it out of you then. :-)

Rajesh- Touche.

Yes, it is rather tough going. It'll keep me occupied for a while, certainly.

10:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

which ones.. ask google god?

5:26 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Alien- But of course! There are a lot of sites where you can do the puzzles online. Many are free, too. :-) The Guardian, The Times and the New York Times are subscription, though.

5:46 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

Rajesh, thank you! *big grin*

Tee hee, Lali.

11:19 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Rimi- Bah!

3:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Terry Pratchett, the lord of fantasy with laughs and incredible insights into the human condition. Anyone who reads prachett cant be half bad.

6:04 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Karma- My sentiments exactly. Welcome and drop in again.

6:54 pm  

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