Crossword Puzzles.

Since my retirement, I spend every morning reading five newspapers and solving the seven crossword puzzles that appear in them. As my family and friends say, it keeps me out of mischief.

On the days that the papers do not come following national holidays, I am lost in the mornings and you can easily sense that I am out of sorts on those days as it recently happened on August 16, 2019 the following our Independence Day when two friends who had called me up on the phone were puzzled at my mood till I explained to them my predicament. That experience has taught me to keep a couple of crossword puzzle books in stock so that I can spend some time on them on such days.

A most frustrating aspect of solving crossword puzzles in when I am stumped for answers. I can spend hours on the thesaurus, dictionaries, telephone calls to friends to find solutions. I have known to even make overseas calls to find answers for clues pertaining to the UK or the USA.   Often, the last resort, Mr. Google also is of no help.  There are some setters of cryptic clues who, in my opinion are simply sadists.

And the relief in finding the answer the next morning when the solutions are published, is only surpassed usually by the feeling that I should kick myself for not having thought of such obvious answers!

This post was inspired by the following joke.

A girl is doing a crossword puzzle…

“What’s a 7-letter word for ‘easily perceived or understood’ that starts with ‘O’?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“It should be, but I can’t figure it out. That’s why I’m asking.”


Being a Crossword Puzzle addict has its advantages. Like realising all the time that there is a lot more to learn despite having lived for more than the proverbial three score and ten years.

Yesterday taught me a new word that kept me hunting for more than an hour. I finally cracked it by working around that particular column and eventually hazarding a guess and going to the online dictionary. The regular hard copy dictionary that I use did not contain this word.

As it often happens, this is an adaptation of a non English word into the ever adapting English language.

Fascinating is it not?

Unmentionable Topics For TED

hush shhhh

If you visit TED website you will find the following Mission Statement.  Please click on the image for a larger resolution.
Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 12.07.28 PM

Dictionary definition of Unmentionable is:
1. Too offensive, shocking, or embarrassing to talk about or mention
2. One that is not to be mentioned or discussed

I submit to Ashok that there is no topic that could possibly be unmentionable in a TED Talk as long as the ‘how’ is taken care of in conveying the ‘what’.

This topic was suggested by Ashok for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, PadmumShackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!



Merriam – Webster gives the following meanings for the word Gentility.

1 a : the condition of belonging to the gentry
b : gentlefolk, gentry
2 a (1) : decorum of conduct : courtesy (2) : attitudes or activity marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation
b : superior social status or prestige evidenced by manners, possessions, or mode of life.

My brother Barath, on his return to the UK after the recent family reunion at Chennai in the South of India, concluded his group mail with this comment.

“All in all, what a trip and thank you all for making it so joyous. I am a very very lucky man to have you all in my life. Hope to bring Annie next year to let her taste your gentility.”

Being very mischievous, I wondered if he meant 2 a (2)!

But to give him the benefit of the doubt, I decided that he meant all the others and I sought the reason for that particular choice of characteristic of the behaviour he saw.

No brainer at all. Bar four seniors in their eighties and one 97 year old sage who we met to take blessings from, and the very few second and third generation family, our interactions were with a whole lot of people in their mid to late sixties, I being the eldest at 70.

None of us have any interest in being anything but gentle. Or should I say, we have no choice in the matter?

Which brings me to the image at the beginning of this post. I am not paid to do this review, but I think that since most of my readers are bloggers too, this e-book will be of interest in a very genteel way.