Just typing in the heading has me leaning in two directions but I will stick with my first thought.

I love crosswords but have never been able to crack cryptic ones. Even when I see the solutions, I can’t even begin to understand how they were arrived at.

I have no doubt that some of you wordy people can whizz through a cryptic crossword like you were singing the alphabet.

What’s the thought process involved and how did you get the hang of it?

One of my many New Year’s hopes or ‘Revolutions’ is to master these.

On such Revolutions, I am also hoping to return to knitting which isn’t entirely different to crosswords, in my view. Just think crossstitch, unravelling and satisfaction.

Thing is I have forgotten how to – and I thought knitting was like riding a bike.

I’ve been scouring the internet for an idiot’s pattern for a colourful hat knitted on straight needles but nothing is idiotic enough. So any help welcome!

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

17 thoughts on “Crosswords”

  1. I have never thought about the thought process per se. I grew up working crosswords with my Papa, and we did them a lot in my grammar school, as a way to teach vocabulary or history I suppose. As an adult, I have many memories of sitting at the kitchen table with my former father-in-law, reading out the clues and he would answer almost instantly while I penciled the answer. I still work them, and if I am stumped, often I set it aside and pick it up again the next day and see what I did not see before. And, a good dictionary helps, because if you have never ever heard of whatever it is, the thinking process will not help much. 🙂
    Best wishes for happy crosswording and happy knitting!

    1. Yeah, I did a lot of them as a youngster with my mother. We had great fun but she wasn’t great on the cryptic ones so I certainly didn’t have a great teacher in relation to them. Some people seem to find them a doddle. Definitely making me more determined now.

  2. Happy knitting! On crosswords, I so enjoy them, but I’m not terribly good at them, either. My brother-in-law actually creates them and has written extensively about them. Apparently, there are a few tricks – the longer words are the theme words, there are short words that get used often because they’re vowel-heavy, etc. – but I’ve never been able to use any of that to my advantage. He created a lovely puzzle for my wedding, and I’ve still not solved it seven years later, even though most of the clues have to do with me or my husband. So, you know, embarrassing. 🙂

  3. I think the thought process is different for all of us. When I was a merchandiser I hated “Planograms” how to construct a box into an attractive display…I hate reading directions and have to really force myself to do this. I would look at the finish product and make it on what I perceived it to be..They seemed to hold up well and none collapsed…But in knitting one has to follow directions and gauge so it will come out like it should..I would use the yarn that is self striping and cast on the desired amount of stitches that you need a simple knit row will give a stockinette stitch where a knit row/purl row will give a garter stitch with stretch…It depends what type of hat you want to knit a beanie/ a beret…I’m sure you’ll be able to master it again as it will start to come back to you…You can always tear it out and begin again..If you first don’t succeed try..try again..ha…

  4. Never really been into crosswords or knitting. My Mum used to knit furiously for hours in times past and I used to be sent on regular missions to the wool shop to call off a few balls of a colour put aside. I’d say knitting was more of a thrifty occupation back then but more of a hobby since imported clothes became affordable.

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