Monday, October 02, 2006

to cheat or not to cheat?

“To cheat or not to cheat?” –- that is the question.

When you buy a book of crossword puzzles, do you take a
sneaky peak at the answers at the back of the book if you
get stuck?

I couldn't possibly do such a thing! Oh dear, I can feel
my nose getting longer and longer.

My wife Mrs C and I have a go at doing the Radio Times
crossword every week. There are a few weeks when we’ve been
unable to finish it and give up, but most weeks we do manage
to complete it and send it off to the BBC.

With last week’s crossword, we sent several days looking at
it from time to time, and then on Friday, we sat down together
and nearly finished it. It’s amazing how two people can work
it out much quicker than one. “Oh, look!” one of us might say,
“This one’s an anagram” … and then a few seconds or minutes
later, the other works the anagram out. “Brainstorming” is
the word that’s just come to me.

Well, we got stuck on the very last clue, which went something
like this … “Singer awards TV mafia head” … two words of four
and seven letters. I spent an hour or two going through the
alphabet for the first few letters of each word.

The first word looked as though it could be Tony or Rory …
any connection with Tony Bennett, the singer?

I found him on a Google search …

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, born on August 3, 1926 … that’s a
good Italian name

… and Frank Sinatra was said to have friends in certain
American-Italian circles … allegedly.

How about Tony Corleone in “The Godfather”? Corleone was a
better fit, but not quite right.

And then I waded through 15 Google pages all about Rory Singer,
who is an American martial arts fighter … that was a barking
up the wrong tree.

But then, Mrs C put the second word into “oneacross dot com” …
blank O, blank R, blank N, blank … in a flash, the word
“soprano” popped up.

Soprano … singer!

Tony Soprano! … head of the Mafia family in the TV series …
I’ve never watched it, but I’ve seen it billed in the Radio

So I put it to you, “Is using the internet to solve a
crossword” cheating or not?

Are you cheating if you look through a dictionary or thumb
through the pages in Roget or in the Dictionary of Quotations?

“Ah, but using a book is more educational and so more worthy”,
you might say.

But is it?

I can now hear my daughter L. saying, “Dad ... get a life!"


Blogger Max said...

Firstly, congratulations on becoming a grandad and secondly, I could have told it was "Soprano" as it's my most favourite show on television at the moment.

5:46 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Thanks, Max.
Yes, "Soprano" was the obvious answer, with hindsight.

11:46 PM  

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