The Globe & Mail, possibly in an attempt to keep families from fighting about politics over the holidays, puts an enormous crossword puzzle in their Saturday edition immediately before Christmas. The clues are very much general-knowledge level, so everyone can play. The challenge is more the sheer size of it – the clues for across and down each run into the 600s.
My family discovered this last year, and given that most of us are word nerds, ended up spending nearly all of Christmas Day working on it around our various festivities. We then dragged it with us on Boxing Day as well, to a gathering of my father’s side of the family. I was a teenager the last time we had this particular group of people all together in one place, and yet out came the puzzle at the end of the afternoon so everyone could get in on the action.
Between my siblings and their spouses, my cousins, their spouses and grown children, my parents, my aunt and myself, we got all but three answers. Those three we googled on the way home.
This year, we have no Boxing Day gathering. We got pretty close to halfway through the puzzle yesterday with only the immediate family (no cousins). I think the plan is to hang on to the rest until the next time we gather, which will probably be my mom’s birthday in January.
Although I might cheat and pick away at it between now and then. Because: word nerd.