More importantly, you have to give a shit.

Thursday 22 December 2005

Some people seem to think that special intelligence is required to do cryptic crosswords. This is sad, because it creates a barrier between them and one of life’s few remaining harmless pleasures. To enjoy reading a chess column, you need to have a chess mind. With bridge, you have to be good enough at mental arithmetic to be able to count up to 13 four times simultaneously (once for each suit)… But with cryptic crosswords all you need is the sort of amateur detective’s mind that does not take things at face value.
Actually, all you need is a good memory for all the stupid, arbitrary rules that have no cultural significance for anyone under 120 years old and which make the puzzles so hateful:
Also, “actor” may equal “tree” (because of Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who died in 1917)…

Amateur detective, my arse. I much prefer the motherfucking magic of cramagrams.