My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.
–A.A. Milne (from Winnie-the-Pooh, 1926)
On the final leg of my journey home from New York, I found myself midway between Baltimore and Houston with a finished novel and nothing else to read. So I checked the seat back in front of me to see what I might find and pulled out the Spirit magazine (the “official magazine of Southwest Airlines”). I think I read every word of it; there were actually some fairly interesting articles this month! Then I came to the puzzle section. Besides the Sudoku (not interested), there was a puzzle called “Snowflake” that no one had touched. There was also another puzzle that I made a note of on my little cocktail napkin for writing about later, but alas, our paper-eating cat has chewed that corner of the napkin off. Finally, I found what I like best when I discovered the two crossword puzzles, one easy and one difficult.
I love crossword puzzles! My family will tell you that I do the one in the paper daily about 5 p.m. as I take my “afternoon break” with a bowl of popcorn and a diet coke. Even when Shannon was a baby, she knew that it was mom’s time out, and she was to amuse herself for awhile.
But back to the Spirit magazine… the easy one looked like it had been completed by one person, because the handwriting was all the same. However the difficult one was a mess. I wonder how many other idle hands had given this one a try and failed? There were lots of attempts scratched out and other answers written over. I laughed out loud at some of the guesses…
Clue: “Ballet bend” Written answer: “Plet” Correct answer: “Plié”
Clue: “Indicated agony” Written answer: “Whence” Correct answer: “Winced”
I’d like to brag that I polished this one off, but honestly, it was just too messy to write the answers in squares that had been written in, scratched out and written over again with incorrect answers. But I was amused, and it did fill the time. The next thing I knew, we were in our final descent and it was time to sit up straight and put away our tray tables, etc.
However, because our flight had been delayed, our pilot had to kill some time before we were allowed to land. As we made a long lazy loop over the glittering city of Houston on a crystal clear night, I wished for a parachute as we sailed right over our house! But as eager as I was to get home, it was well worth the few extra minutes to see the sight of downtown all lit up and sparkling in the darkness.
Finally we arrived at the gate, and I whenced as I stood up stiffly, did a small plet to stretch and then headed for baggage claim. And tomorrow, when I get back on another Southwest jet, I believe I’ll take another crack at that puzzle!