09 April 2008

Puzzling Thoughts

I just finished a desk calendar of USA Today puzzles, a year's worth of 6 per week, for a total of 312 puzzles, including crosswords, word ladders, 4X4 word tables, word searches and sudoku.

I missed 7 of them, for a 98% success rate. I'm not satisified with that.

That makes Me very different from most of you for a number of reasons:

1) I did 311 puzzles in about 14 weeks.

2) I actually enjoyed doing that many puzzles in so short a time.

3) I get a kick out of challenging My brain. Most of My readers do too. The rest of humanity is lazy in that sense.

4) I fully expected to get all 312 puzzles right. Not as a wish: as a certainty.

5) That I missed 7 (three crosswords, a word table, a word search, a word ladder and a sudoku puzzle) really bothers Me, especially when 3 of those failures were by one letter.

6) Unlike My younger self, I can actually accept being imperfect and enjoyed the effort anyway.
But I'm still competitive enough to feel chagrined about falling 7 short.

There's a combination of good (intellectual focus, brain stimulation, enjoyment of solitude) and bad (competitiveness over fun, perfectionism, hubris) in this puzzle exercise, but even the bad has its value in helping Me achieve goals. (Nothing good about hubris, though; it's there because I'm being honest.) I wonder why I see so few people evince these traits, for they are not the result of heroic or superhuman efforts: They are simply tools for growth.

Could be I'm too self-centered, or too busy reading, or too busy writing, or too busy doing puzzles to notice other people's good points. Could be. I hope so. I'm already a bit top-heavy with hubris. Don't need more of that.

And why 311 completed puzzles? One crossword puzzle was repeated. Stupid USA Today.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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