He Has No Clue

AC freely admits to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer — even to the extent that he could not think of anything better than this all-to-common metaphor. Lately, however, under certain evil influence out there on the Left Coast of this wonderful sea-to-sea-to-sea nation, he has succumbed to trying his hand at crossword puzzles. Due to his rather linear way of thinking, he will never become a whiz at an activity that requires good lateral thinking skills.

Nevertheless, he struggles in the probably vain hope that utilizing his diminishing brain power might stave off, at least for awhile, the onset of those miserable brain diseases that come to affect so many of the aged.

But he needs help (aside from a cure for writing in the third person, which for some bizarre reason is the way he began this post, and now he’s stuck with it no matter how asinine it sounds) from the experts.

Please do tell from yesterdays puzzle, for example, what sort of ordinary person knows that a Shark accompanist = Remora, Tic relative = Acarid, Extinct NZ bird = Conte, or that Amole is a Plant used as soap. While AC can see that slipping in the occasional piece of trivial minutiae is valid because it’s always nice to learn new facts and words, he fails to understand how one is supposed to deduce such clues if they are clumped together in the same section of the puzzle.

Finally, there are quite common words that he can’t associate with the clues even when he manages to guess them or is reduced to peeking at the solution. For example, I (phew — AC almost slipped into the first person) he requires, some bright light out there to tell him how Papercup is the answer to Signs of things to come, or how the answer to Ultimate can possibly be Emotions.

If you could splain that, AC would be grateful — in both the third and first person.

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14 Responses to He Has No Clue

  1. Mary G says:

    Looks to me as if AC is doing very difficult crossword puzzles. I knew Remora, but that about finishes my feeble attempt at erudition. If I find a crossword author whose clues so little resemble the answer, I cross him (or her, but this I doubt) off my list. I do the Post crossword every day and finish it about half the time. That is my level. Yours sounds much harder.
    Using a dictionary or going on line to search seems like cheating to me, but I am quite happy to make my husband and daughter help.

    • AC says:

      That puzzle was from the Citizen. On the whole, I am getting along with Adrian Powell, but yesterday was wild. By Post, do you mean the National Post? I would have thought that would be harder if anything.

  2. D3 says:

    Yay for cryptic crosswords!!!!!! Yay for left coast influence!!!!!

    Firstly, dad, you need specify to your readers that you are talking about CRYPTIC crosswords, which are not for the foolhardy and fainthearted, as you know.

    Secondly, you’re right, the answers don’t seem to match the clues at all. Sometimes for certain crosswords you will notice that there are 2 sets of clues for the same grid (sometimes one list of clues is called “quick clues” and they often are one word clues looking directly for a definition). Since one of the clues you mentioned (ultimate = emotion) is one word, my guess is that you may be looking at answers from a different set of clues. Sometimes answers for cryptic crosswords are explained directly in the answer.

    Thirdly, you clearly need a consultant. What paper is this crossword from? Can you email me a copy?? We need to get to the bottom of this confusion immediately!!

  3. D3 says:

    Wow…these definitions are so removed the clues read as cryptic!!

    Ok – how about this for an explanation? A paper cup is not a new technology and it has been assigned several environmental implications. For example, it was seen as efficient due to its disposable nature, but then it became seen as wasteful and thus contributing to our environmental degradation by taking up spaces in landfills and the energy used and waste produced during paper cup manufacturing processes. However, in comparison to other reusable drinking vessels, the paper cup may now stand a chance, as the paper can be made from recycled materials and can also be made to be biodegradable, which is overall gentler on the earth than perhaps stainless steel water bottles or ceramic mugs. Consequently, the paper cup represents not only where we have been, but also where we are fated to go in terms of environmental sustainability, technology, and social practices of daily living. The paper cup, in this sense, is a sign of things to come.

    Ultimate is much easier to explain. First you need to break it into two smaller words, “ulti” and “mate”. “Ulti” is very close to “multi”, therefore this most likely means that there are many of something. “Mate” is close to the word “mote”, which is a key suffixy-type-thing in the words related to expressing feelings, such as “emote” or “emotion.” Another way of describing “multi” “motes” is “emotions.”

    And there you have your answers!!

  4. AC says:

    Oh my! If the explanations are that esoteric and detailed, I’m in deep trouble. 🙂

  5. QMM says:

    Holy smokes, now where in the world did that come from? A/C that has got to be an unusual puzzle, since I know if I can work two and sometimes three a day, you could work a crossword puzzle. Don’t be so modest. We know you are a sharp minded presenior citizen and I am a fullfledged senior citizen. I guess the puzzles I work are just easy. I get my in the city newspaper and there are from the L.A. Times. Easy peasy.

  6. Bernie says:

    Oh my, I truly enjoy crossword puzzles but I am not in your or D3’s league nor even close to it although I think I would rather tackle the puzzle itself than D3’s explanation….lol. Big Hugs:-)

  7. This is exactly Why I do…Word Search….Hahahahaa

  8. Diana says:

    I don’t have the answer to your questions AC. I was never very good at crosswords unless they had to do with famous people. My grandmother, bless her soul, was the ultimate crossword puzzle expert. But then she was a proof reader for 40 years. Please tell me that I don’t have to explain what a proofreader is?
    Love Di ♥

  9. Mary says:

    Glad to have found you. Hope you and your family is well. Drop by the writing nook if you have time. Blessings, Mary

  10. Lorna says:

    cryptic= making faces while turning over in a grave

    crossword = AC says this to D3

    bored = lorna in barrie at 20 after 11

  11. Hilary says:

    I’m clueless. I would have thought that a Tic relative was either Toc or Tac and that Amole was ABirthmark.

  12. Melodee says:

    This makes me feel so much better. I cannot solve a (real) crossword puzzle to save my life. My good friend, Diane, and her mother solve them as if it’s a normal, everyday occurrence . . . they also humiliate me during Scrabble.

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