Remember, I wrote at the start of January about wanting to get back into crosswords and ideally into cracking the cryptic ones.

Well, I decided to ease my way back by getting a book of Simplex Crosswords which have been part of The Irish Times for yonks. I have fond memories of doing them with Mother when I’d get in from school and get out of the big grey uniform we had. It was total unwind time and always full of chatter and banter with me relying hugely on the dictionary and her loving the anagrams.

Anyway, I’m doing one a day and am still intrigued by the extent to which 3-letter words are divils. ‘Indignation, Displeasure,’ has me stumped at the moment. Just 3 little letters. I’m clearly not ready for the cryptic just yet.

Anyway, there is a short introduction to the book and I was fascinated to see the point that one of the appeals of crosswords is: the satisfaction of finding the answers to at least some problems in a day full of more important, stressful challenges that may defeat them.’

I can definitely identify with this but it was like a shining light on why some people actually like household chores. The principle is the same, a sense of control and completion.

Give me a crossword any day to satisfy this ‘need,’ even if the 3-letter words sometimes feel like scrubbing burnt saucepans – usually caused by me being off in a world of crosswording or watching a robin on the lilac tree outside the kitchen window.


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!