I Love Crossword Puzzles by Terveen Gill

I love crossword puzzles. My wife says they’ll kill me.

I chuckle and tell her that I don’t see any assassin ninjas hiding in the blank squares.

She smirks and says that the ninjas are inside my head. They lash out every time I sit down to solve the puzzle.

I think she’s overreacting. She thinks I’m a stubborn idiot.

So to prove her wrong, I decide to solve the daily crossword in a coffee shop, in front of the eyes of unsuspecting strangers.

Tuesdays are always busy at Debby’s. I get a table after wating for thirty-five minutes. But that doesn’t bother me. I’m as cool as a cucumber.

The smell of fresh coffee hits me.

The waitress smiles and pours me a cup. It’s the good stuff. Not cheap or tasteless.

Three swift sips and I’m ready with my lucky pen and an alert brain. There’s a lot of chatter around me but that only deepens my concentration.

Nothing can come between my eyes and the squares on the paper.

First word done. Hah! That was easy. The second and third take a minute longer. But I’m not racing anybody.

It’s the fourth and fifth words that make me a bit uneasy. I skip them and get the sixth and seventh down in no time.

My cup’s empty. I need a refill.

The waitress seems a mile away. I gesture and call her name.




Heads turn and eyes widen. What’s wrong with people? Is it a crime to ask for more coffee?

My cup’s full again. I return to the puzzle. The crossword clues slowly stop making sense. I can barely get down three more words.

The blank squares look ugly. I want to tear them out of the page. My hand slams down on the table. My cup trembles. I gulp down hot coffee. It burns my tongue and throat.

My heart is burning too.

I take three deep breaths and ask for a refill.

A voice says – Hey, don’t shout.

I’m not shouting.

I reply – Mind your own goddam business.

More coffee. Fewer words.

I’ve gone through the entire puzzle. It’s still forty-percent incomplete. What’s going on? I go through the clues again and again, but my brain offers me nothing.

To hell with these stupid words!

I don’t need this bullshit!

I crumple and throw the paper. It hits another customer.

They ask me to leave.


23 Comentarios Agrega el tuyo

  1. Diti Sen dice:

    Any dedicated crossword solver, will relate to this! Enjoyed it.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Yes, it can be jarring. Dedication can incur mental anguish. Haha.
      Thank you so much, Diti. 🙂

      Me gusta

  2. Love crosswords. Time drainer. Not particularly good at them. Don’t mind googling answers if I get stuck.

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      They do chomp away at time. And when I’m really stuck, I google sometimes too. Better than having a meltdown. Haha. 🙂

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  3. johnlmalone dice:

    hahahah; this illustrates the lesson perfectly; how quickly and insidiously we can lose our temper —

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Haha! Puzzles have a way of disrupting one’s peace of mind. Thank you so much, John. 🙂

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  4. haoyando dice:

    What a beautiful story. I do feel that everybody has a demon of brain in his or her body. It is true. This demon brain just will not listen to your command and will often come up with whimsical ideas.

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Making the mind listen is a task that makes the heart moan and groan. Haha!
      Yes, a demon brain resides in us all.
      Thank you so much, Haoyan. 🙂

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  5. Haha. Those unfinished puzzles can definitely get out the «monkey» in one. Sounds a little like me, Terveen, I sometimes don’t have the patience to think words up, lol.

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Haha! I can relate to that feeling. We are so rushed to get things done. How can a puzzle interfere with that?
      Beware of that monkey! Thank you so much, Shobana! 🙂

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  6. This is so laughable and relatable!! I nice job on this?

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thanks so much, Cindy. Puzzles can be puzzling. Haha. 🙂

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      1. Pleasure and tes indeed-:)💕

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  7. Jeff Flesch dice:

    Hahaha. Oh my, that’s so funny, Terveen. Indeed, sometimes we put just a little too much emphasis on, well, something that is supposed to be relaxing and or cognitively stimulating. Wait, this was cognitively stimulating, just maybe not in a positive way. Haha. 😃

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      So true, Jeff. I think we manage to complicate many things in life. And why should crosswords be spared from our anger and obsessive tendencies. No wonder we end up complaining about never having peace of mind. What a laughable situation. But then, we’re only human.
      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. 🙂

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      1. Jeff Flesch dice:

        That’s is a great point, Terveen. Indeed. You’re most welcome. Always. 😊

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  8. sikhcomics dice:

    I just feel like an idiot when I can’t get through even half the crossword. So I stopped attempting to solve them.

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      That’s the charm of crosswords. They transform us into either meek or agitated puzzle-solvers.
      Thank you so much for sharing this. 🙂

      Me gusta

  9. jonicaggiano dice:

    Well, I can sit still long enough to do a cross word puzzle and so you are doing better than I am. What I like to do is sit by someone who is doing a hard cross word puzzle and read the descriptions and yell out I got this one when I know I do. I am not big on patience and the more I pray about it the more challenges I get. Sending hugs, Joni

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Haha! That’s a nice one, Joni. I hope the person actually solving the puzzle finds your help encouraging. And patience is a very delicate entity. It’s tough to keep it safe and sound. I know mine runs thin so many times. Thanks for being so honest. You’re not alone in this. Take care and much love and peace. 🙂

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      1. jonicaggiano dice:

        It probably is an irritating thing really. I only do that with family. I applaud you if you do a lot of crosswords or other puzzles. I do think they help keep the mind sharp. Thank you Terveen and you have a blessed weekend. Sending big hugs, Joni

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