I was preoccupied with a very difficult crossword puzzle when I was hailed from the veranda by a very young friend who wanted to say hello. He took one look at my face and asked why I looked so worried!

I said that I was preoccupied with some mental gymnastics and nor worried and he simply could not fathom the difference between the two states of mind.  He insisted that being preoccupied with something is also worrying whereas I define worrying as indulging in morbid thoughts of negative developments in the future.  This cartoon I think explains it quite nicely.

Please click on the following image to get a larger resolution. I thank Mitch for this lead.

What do you think? Is being preoccupied with a puzzle the same as worrying?  The dictionary appears to support my contention though not quite in the same words.

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