October 10th 2017
Today I went round my Grandad’s house for the evening. It was only supposed to be a flying visit, but I ended up staying for dinner (a Tesco finest micro-meal), biscuits, and to watch the football.
My Grandad is a very particular man. I’ve written before about some of his quirks and habits; like how he makes me keep my shoes on in his house because otherwise his feet get cold (somehow). Or how he sits in complete darkness and showers at the golf club because he doesn’t want to waste electricity. Or the fact that he enters every single competition he sees in adverts, newspapers or magazines (to be fair to him on that one, he’s literally off on a free trip to America on Friday for a tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery that he won in a magazine competition). There are loads of others but they kind of just seem normal to me now, in a weird way.
Today I discovered a new quirk of his.
I noticed that there was — what looked like — an incomplete crossword from today’s paper on the kitchen table. So, naturally, I took a look to see if I could help out on any of the clues. On closer look, however, I realised that the crossword wasn’t incomplete. He’d answered every question, he just hadn’t filled it in completely.
He’d only filled in the letters in the squares that were adjoining between the ACROSS and the DOWN clues. Any square that was by itself was left blank.
I asked him about it.
“I don’t fill in the letters that I don’t need,” he said. I asked him to expand. “Well, I know what they all are so I don’t need the other letters, just the ones that are used for the other clues.” I asked him to prove it.
“What’s 1 ACROSS then?” I asked.
“Wendy House,” he said. “Don’t you believe me?”
“Of course,” I said. “What’s 9 ACROSS?”
“Fluent. I told you!”
Maybe he’s saving ink — that wouldn’t surprise me.
Maybe he’s got an idetic memory so doesn’t need full answers. Just the basics will do.
Maybe he’s just a really charitable crossworder and likes to give other players letter to help them solve it. (Looking at it, I still can’t figure out half of the clues, although I’m almost 90% sure that 18 ACROSS is ‘Banana’)
Maybe he’s just bonkers.
Honestly, to begin with I found it a bit mental, but perhaps I’ve become so immune to his ways that I now find it quite hard to argue with his logic.
Until tomorrow, it’s almost impressive, right?