WORDS! WORDS! WORDS! Hamlet (II.2)
Ted seriously pondering over the crossword puzzle.
To me and to some of Ted’s friends and students it was apparent how much Ted loved words, syntax, dialects, all things related to language. He loved to create a well-turned phrase especially when laced with humor.
Once he told me that during his youth he noticed how his mother loved to do the New York Times crossword puzzle to which he wouldn’t give a second thought, and how this mildly disappointed her.
Perhaps within a year after Ted and I had met, he noticed I had an established morning routine consisting of first bringing in the newspaper, putting on a pot of coffee, feeding the cats, then settling in to have my coffee and do the New York Times crossword puzzle. There were occasions when questions about Pop-culture or sports arose as clues and Ted knew the answers instantly! This began to engender a mild curiosity and interest. At some point, a particularly challenging puzzle appeared and Ted offered to assist. That day the two of us spent hours pondering the possibilities until we solved the entire torturous conundrum of that puzzle. From then on Ted was hooked. He told me he wished his mother could see him now, how “tickled she would be, and pleased as punch.”
Since the crossword puzzle obsession was mine, I would continue to do the weekday ones but conceded to share the big Sunday puzzle with Ted. Needless to say, this was a delight for us, many a time quite humorous, and even educational! Another thing Ted truly loved to do: THINK!
Quincy pointing out a sale on his favorite cat food.