Just words

May 25, 2012 – I’m about to reveal a big secret.

I am a writer who is terrible at crossword puzzles.

I love playing Scrabble, which is sort of like crosswords if you use your imagination, and I can do cryptograms with the greatest of ease, but when it comes to vocabulary and those five-dollar words often associated with crosswords, I panic. Then I appease myself with the fact that I was taught to write clearly and simply, on a level that everyone can understand.

Of course, you could argue that a writer with a limited vocabulary is like a painter who is colorblind. But I’m not that limited, and I’d rather you didn’t.

When I read “11 word games writers love” I wondered if the author considered writers who are crossword challenged. Even though she refers to the relationship between the writer and crossword puzzles as iconic, we must exist. Surely I can’t be the only one. I’ll give her a pass this time because she compiled a nice list of games aside from crosswords that will please even the mightiest of literary snobs.

And I’ll add a few suggestions of my own:

If you’re mad about cryptograms, you can play to your heart’s content at www.cryptograms.org, and if you’re crossword challenged, try Strike A Match, the classic word matching game that requires only basic vocabulary skills over at www.boxerjam.com.

5 thoughts on “Just words

  1. Me too Jane, I love Scrabble but struggle to with crossword puzzles. While those “five dollar words” are lovely, I, too, was taught the purpose of writing was to communicate. If the reader doesn’t understand your words how effectively are you communicating? So sign me up for the dollar store words so my point gets across to my audience.

  2. Does it work in reverse.? I love Scrabble and Crosswords ( especially Merle Reagle’s crosswords) but i’m not so great at writing. And I so admire those who can communicate well. Did I make that clear?

    1. Isn’t it funny that we seem to admire more of the things in others that we don’t see in ourselves? I wonder what that says about us.

      And yes, Bea … you made yourself crystal clear!

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