Sunday, 17 July 2016

Lazing around with English

Leisure is something everyone craves for but when we actually get some time to relax, we are not sure if we really spend it the way we would have imagined when we are busy.

One of my favorite pastimes ... even if it is for a short time  ... is to solve Crossword Puzzles. I started with doing the Easy puzzle and it took quite some time to even think of glancing at the Cryptic puzzles. The day finally dawned when I made a bold attempt to start solving them taking inspiration from my brother who was already way ahead! Years rolled by. I continued even after my son was born and he started going to school. Around this phase was when I landed in trouble! My son, all of 8 years then, would initially just watch me solving them. He soon upgraded and started asking me inquisitively what is it that I am doing. He quickly joined me in answering a few clues too! Excited to have found within my own home a like minded fellow flier of words, we partnered for pretty many weeks. But then, more trouble brewed for me! He started interrogating me  whenever he failed to get answers while I had got them right. This propelled me to do an indepth analysis of Cryptic Clues so as to be better prepared to answer his queries.

In the process, I felt there is a whole science behind this entire exercise of creating crossword puzzles.
This led me to a lot of writing regarding Cryptic Clues and unravelling several secrets behind solving them. I now enjoy creating clues as much as I enjoy solving them! Akin to sketching and painting, this too poses a challenge to our creativity.

The focus of this section lies primarily on “How to solve Cryptic Clues in Crossword Puzzles”. But why only Cryptic Clues? From my interaction with people in general and my short stint in various schools as an Educational Consultant in particular, I learnt that most people irrespective of age group, find Cryptic Clues in Crosswords uninteresting, extremely tough, don’t have a clue as to what they mean and just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I do agree that these clues may not make much sense at first glance. However, once we dig deep into the clue and discover the secrets of solving them, we realise that they need not make sense. At times we may also find it easier to solve Cryptic Clues than Easy Clues! 
This is because Cryptic clues provide lots of hints, codes and often, the answers are either hidden directly or jumbled up somewhere inside the clue. On the other hand, in Easy Clues you are supposed to know the meaning and except for the number of letters that form the answer no other hint is provided!

Posts regarding Crossword Puzzles, Cryptic Clues and more can be viewed under "Play with Words" section in this blog.

 The intention of creating the section "Play with Words" is to drive away the fear clouded in the minds of a section of people about word games and puzzles, create interest and instill confidence in them to be able to solve them with relative ease and enjoyment. If, at the end of using this section, even one among my blog readers has turned from a Wordpuzzlephobe to a Wordpuzzlephil, I shall consider my efforts worthy and my joy boundless.

This section is bound to be enjoyed by all those who have a literary bent of mind, show special interest in brain teasers and word games, quizzes, puzzles, etc. and are keen to enhance their vocabulary. It will be of use for teachers too, in the creation of Vocabulary Building Exercises related to English language and grammar for their students. 

To continue reading, click on
"Play with Words"

Apart from "Play with Words" section, few other sections in this blog include:

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