A coincidence on Puzzle Island



I’ve written so often of the coincidences in my life, Gentle Reader, that  you might think it’s an obsession of mine. A bee in my bonnet.

Well, I heard its buzz again.

This morning—as I do every Sunday— I worked on another obsession of mine: the Quote-Acrostic.  It’s in the section the Tribune labels “Puzzle Island”. I invite you, Gentle Reader, to try it yourself. If you have the time and the mental fortitude. The Quote-Acrostic is a variation of the crossword.  You solve the lettered clues and insert the numbered letters of each answer  in the corresponding  boxes of a quotation.  For example, the answer to this Sunday’s  clue A —Tickled pink—is jocund. So the J, numbered 163,  is put in  box #163 of  the quotation.  The quote, by the way, should interest many at this time of year because it happens to be about the Cubs and their loyal fandom.  As I eventually found out.

On to the coincidence.  Today’s Quote-Acrostic was a tough nut to crack.  It took me well over an hour.  But I  wouldn’t wave the white flag   I eventually solved it,  feeling, you might suspect,  pretty good about my persistence and ingenuity.

The tougher the puzzle,  the greater the sense of accomplishment.

So  after I savored my victory a while, beaming  on the finished work, I turned to my mother-in-law, Helen, who had just returned to the breakfast table.  I had never left it.  I thought I’d share the glorious moment with her.

She smiled without saying a word.  But I noticed a gesture of a sort, and asked her what it signified.

“Thumbs up,”  she replied.

“Thumbs up?’ I said.  That’s the answer to Clue I. “Endorsement: 2 words.”

I rest my case.


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