I’ve mentioned before my mom’s affinity for crossword puzzles. In fact, it’s a family thing. My mom and dad usually photocopied the newspaper crossword puzzle so that each could do it on their own and compare slash compete. When my brother was home, an extra copy often had to be made. But most of the time, I resisted this pull. I would help out on a clue or two, and when Andrew was in town with me, he’d occasionally help my mom, but I never requested my own copy.
Well, it’s only taken about 25 years for the crossword gene to kick in. Sure, I flirted with it briefly in college. During a particularly boring class, I made the Daily Northwestern’s crossword puzzle my distraction of choice. Now, though, Andrew and I have found a new hobby. Each week we tackle the New York Magazine crossword. It’s hardly The New York Times (my mom’s favorite), but it does the trick.
And I have to say, reading really helps. I believe that because I read a lot, I do better on crossword puzzles. For example, reading teaches me words like “ennui,” which was a recent answer. I may not be able to tell you the exact definition, but hey I know it’s a word and the word that fits. Together, Andrew and I manage to do pretty well.
So it may not be the coolest hobby. However, I’ve heard that activities like solving crossword puzzles can help Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. And that’s cool, right? Plus, my mom (and dad and brother) would be so proud.