Tuesday, February 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service
Op-Ed

Crosswords no good against mild cognitive impairment

December 9, 2022

Millions of people around the world are “hooked” on crosswords. Are crosswords dangerous? Do they worry you too? Do you need help? Well, have I got a deal for you …

Robert Kahn

By Robert Kahn

Deputy editor emeritus, Courthouse News

Crosswords: Harmless Game or Debilitating Addiction?

I think I may have mild cognitive impairment. See, I keep playing crosswords, which is supposed to stave it off, but I keep doing worse at the crosswords.

I like crossword puzzles because I have an excellent vocabulary. I know this because Mom used to holler at me day after day: “Robert! You have an excellent vocabulary! There is no need for you to use words like that!” 

Could crosswords have contributed to my gloomy view of life? Throwing me deeper into cognitive impairment, instead of staving it off? Beats the hell out of me.

Sure do waste a lot of time, though, them crossword puzzles …

I guess we’ll have to sit around tapping our feet until my lawsuit is litigated: Kahn v. Will Shortz, New York Times, et al.*

(* Me and Al was hunting grizzlies when a bear et al.)**

It’s got to the point that I believe crossword puzzles are preventing me from performing my daily duties, by making crosswords a daily duty, after walking the dogs. Not that I’ve got anything better to do after walking the dogs.

OK, let’s get down. Nobody writes better crossword clues than Will Shortz and his stable. Yes, a stable, like horses.

(17 across: Houyhnhnms vote against it — 5 letters.)***

Aside from solving it — filling it all in — the most fun of a crossword is a funny clue you figure out, and your tormentors managed to get in. You know who I mean — Shortz et alia. (Shortz was et by a shortfaced bear.)

I’m no expert, obviously, because I can’t even beat Shortz alla time without cheating. If you cheat, why, sure, you can beat Shortz. But as Holmes told Watson, in The Case of the Missing Self in a Gerund, “… ng, ng, ng …”

** Sorry! That’s an old joke I’ve been longing to tell for years.

*** Neigh

Subscribe to our columns

Want new op-eds sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe below!

Loading
Loading...