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Well, I’m jiggered

January 19, 2022

I think the first photo I saw posted was from Ian Rankin during the original 2020 lockdown: a completed crossword puzzle. They became the rage. And continue to be – just yesterday a friend posted a photo of a completed 1000 piece puzzle. The trend passed me by until recently – and badly.

Good thing they were only aspirations. There is, however, considerable irony in this New Yorker cartoon.

As I believe I may have mentioned, in my efforts to wean myself off Freecell I took up Guardian crosswords and New Yorker cover jigsaw puzzles. During last week’s stupid week, these online jigsaws became my new addiction, filling up the stupid days. 

The challenge is to piece together the (level 1) puzzle in under two minutes. (That’s not an official challenge. It was my challenge to myself.) And, day after day, I managed a few out of god knows how many puzzles completed.

This is okay.

This is better.

One day I actually managed this.

Wow! I’m almost certainly never going to beat this, so good time to stop, right? Wrong. Hours and hours and dozens and dozens of puzzles more before the stupid days of the stupid week were over.

Here’s the real irony: Whilst I was spending all those hours on the New Yorker site doing computer jigsaw puzzles, the pile of unopened actual New Yorkers on the coffee table continued to grow. (The new Amor Towles also continues to be unread, but that at least is down to the arrival of library books and the need to read the selections of the Bad Girls Book Club. Finished Where the Crawdads Sing last night, so it could be Amor’s turn next.)

A couple of years ago I wrote about the two chair challenge. These are the chairs in question.

Barely three feet apart, the chair on the left should represent writing, but (other than a couple of short plays in 2021) seldom does. Instead it represents hours lost on stupid computer games and now puzzles. The chair on the right should represent reading, although it all too infrequently does.

The challenge is, if the chair on the left is not being used for the purpose it should be, to get from the chair on the left into the chair on the right during daylight hours. The cartoon at the top of this post was probably from one of those unopened magazines. I don’t know. I copied and pasted it from a friend on Facebook. 

So, here’s my pledge for today. After I finish writing this, I am going to shift myself to the other chair and, at an absolute minimum, check out all the cartoons in the unopened New Yorkers. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll also read an article or two. 

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    I have an online subscription and find the crosswords are now what I do most. Once upon a time, it was flip through the cartoons, read Talk of the Town, then the fiction, and whatever else took my fancy. Now it’s crossword, non-fiction, the odd cartoon… Pretty much never fiction, or Talk.

    Never did crosswords before.

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