Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Single but iffy to mingle: Crossword Puzzles

Published:Monday | March 12, 2018 | 12:07 AM

Riddle me this, riddle me that ... guess this riddle or perhaps not? Crossword puzzles have long since been a regular past-time for wordsmiths everywhere but did you know that they can have this uncanny way of making a head-on collision with your happily ever after. Can't see the correlation? Well, relationships can be filled with guessing games riddled by context clues that are designed to be solved in sequential numbered squares, going across and down and in some cases even overlapping as a result.

Welcome to 'Single but iffy to mingle' where the topic this week (I hope you've figured it out) is crossword puzzles. The nature of the activity is pretty simple: you get the clues, you solve the puzzle. Some answers are as straightforward as sunlight in the Caribbean, while others are so confusing, so mind-blowingly difficult, like the expectancy of an earthquake, that it seems almost impossible to decode.

How many of you can recall a past relationship or even your current romance sounding similar to that equation? Recognising those underlying currents in your sea of passion and gauging the reaction can make the difference in riding those waves all the way to the shores of his or her heart or drifting further into the dark abyss of the unknown.

The allure and the mystery of a good crossword puzzle are very intriguing at first. You will find that you enjoy finding those missing pieces, going across, down, and overlapping at leisure or for pleasure. Over time, waters are tested and you will have to bank on you're indepth knowledge and understanding of, as well as history with your significant other - theoretical and pragmatic approaches apply.

Let's take it a step further: the harder the puzzle gets, the easier it is to give up or resort to a lower, more comfortable level with a different lover. That's why I'm somewhat iffy to mingle with another. How do you get over the hurdle of being haunted by previous crosswords of your courtship?

You can't stay hurt forever. And since this is forever a learning process, let's look at ways in which we can solve these crossword puzzles from the stages of dating, so it can be smooth sailing beyond that:

- FITB: What better time to fill in the blanks than at the very beginning? It's a great starting point and it's actually simpler than you think. Just take the time to get to know each other so that you can master the art of love together. And since life is always evolving, always be in tune with the cycle of learning more about your significant other.

- Clues have rules: Everything in life has rules, even clues. A clue can either make or break a situation. So, whether you're going down or across, check for clues and hints being thrown your way. They can either be conventional or unique by nature. Pay attention and use them wisely.

- Calculated guess: Some puzzles are easier to solve than others. When you get to those hard ones, and you're not sure of what to do, make a calculated guess. When in doubt, guess it out, in a responsible manner. It's so much better than not trying to solve the puzzle at all.

- Jumping to conclusions: There's guessing and then there's jumping to conclusions. Remember snap judgements may lead to regret so you don't want to go there. Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box in order to get it right.

- Love confusion: Crossword puzzles are designed to confuse and challenge a solver. No need to feel sidetracked, just keep your eyes on your main prize, showering him or her with the love and affection.

- Foreplay in wordplay: Once you get a good wordplay in the midst of a crossword puzzle, you're guaranteed to kickstart the act of foreplay. You know what they say: action can scream louder than words.

- Multi-word answers: One wordplay is generally the order of the day for crossword puzzles, but there are those moments where the answer requires two words, maybe more. Be mindful of the clues and connect the literary dots, without being thrown off in the process. The answer is right there, it's just for you to find it.

- Getting stumped: What do you do when you just can't see the answer in front of you? Learn to put the puzzle away and go back to it at a later time. You will be surprised at what you can solve with a clearer conscience. Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeking external help, through constructive research, just be sure they don't lead you to cheat, if you know what I mean.