Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mornings in Retirement

Wonderword, a word search puzzle, is a daily feature in the Plain Dealer that I got hooked on after I stopped working. The theme of Monday's puzzle was "waste time." Now, I waste time, way too much time, each day on the puzzle pages of the Plain Dealer and the Star Beacon, but the most thoroughly wasted of all that wasted time is the half hour wasted on Wonderword.

In a shamefully self-serving oversight, David Ouellet, the puzzle's constructor, failed to include "word search" and "wonderword" among the three dozen or so time-wasting words solvers were expected to find, Monday. To make matters worse, he listed "read" and "write" among the horde of bona fide life-squandering activities.

Well, let me tell you Mr. "The left over letters spell the Wonderword" Ouellet, the constructive hours of my day, if there are any, are spent reading and writing. And about a year ago I used a couple of those hours to construct a sestina lambasting word searches and other newspaper diversions, but mostly word searches.

Mornings in Retirement

The old routine took but minutes of my morning.
The papers were there, and I turned to the crossword
to get my puzzle fix. But then came Sudoku;
it had my number, and I found time for Jumble,
and then it was on to Celebrity Cipher,
which lead to a stubborn addiction to Word Search.

I'm pretty sure it's not a good sign, doing Word Search.
Better I should read and write more in the morning;
instead, I decipher Celebrity Cipher.
But first I finish the crossword,
and have more coffee, causing my nerves to jumble,
distorting the logic I need for Sudoku.

I get so perplexed as I work on Sudoku
and get stymied and give up and flee to Word Search,
which I can always solve. It's easier the Jumble,
not a challenge, even early in the morning,
unlike the ever so tough Saturday crossword,
and never witty like Celebrity Cipher.

It can be baffling, that Celebrity Cipher,
although it's never as humbling as Sudoku
and isn't nearly as much fun as the crossword.
But it takes a dull sort to do Word Search.
Yes, I'm a dull sort and not sharp in the morning,
which also explains why you'll find me doing Jumble,

those weird anagrams of words all in a jumble
and decoding words in Celebrity Cipher.
And so I use the precious moments of morning
finagling numbers to finish Sudoku
before I throw it aside and go to Word Search.
I really should stop when I'm done with the crossword,

but I go on without uttering a cross word,
and don't even think as I go and do Jumble
and let some power drag me into Word Search.
Are my wits sharpened by Celebrity Cipher?
Does my thinking improve when I do Sudoku?
Do these exercise my brain or waste my morning?

I do the crossword and Celebrity Cipher,
fumble with Jumble and fight too with Sudoku,
and finish my morning in a mindless word search.

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