Why Words Make Me Cross
Okay, I’ve a confession to make. I spend my life being creative with the English language, and I can’t, for the life of me, do word games – and this is the time of the year when they all come out. I stare at a crossword until my eyes drop out and fail to understand why ‘Small time mushroom that is seasonal fare (5,3) should be ‘MINCE PIE’. I mean, honestly, WTF? So the lovely article on seasonal crosswords here shot right over my head.
I’m rubbish at Scrabble, Boggle or even entry-level word games. My mother was a brilliant and obsessive crossword puzzle solver, and could fill the hardest ones out in just a few minutes, while I would still be struggling on my first clue. Stephen Sondheim famously invented loads of cryptic word games, which is why his movie ‘The Last of Sheila’ is the best murder mystery ever made. The killer’s name is even hidden in the title and the trailer.
Now a new generation of word games is available to play on your phone. And try as I might, I’m still rubbish. So here’s Larry Karaszewski on why ‘The Last of Sheila’ is so brilliantly written.