Saturday, March 17, 2012


This week, an online friend of mine exacted vigilante justice on a stranger who threw eggs at him from a moving vehicle. While it is not my story to tell, let's just say it ended with a punch in the face.

Today, I also felt vigilante anger.

As you know, I lead a stressful and important life. On any given day, I may have to write something, get dressed, stay in a crappy hotel, or take pictures of my cat.

Sometimes I just need to get away from it all. This is why I do pencil puzzles in the bathtub. But today, internet friends, my relaxing pencil puzzle bath time was absolutely basulaned.

You see, I was working on a puzzle called "Letterbox." You're given several boxes with two letters each, and you must combine them to make words in a box shape.

Here's my progress:

I'm usually pretty good at word puzzles. Not a master, but no neophyin either, and it frustrated me that I wasn't getting this one. I puzzled and stared and rearranged and puzzled some more. The bath water grew tepid, then cold, as I made no move to remove myself to more comfortable surroundings, like a reverse lobster. The lavender bubbles died small, quiet deaths. Still I puzzled. The dog and her gas decided to keep me company, and I puzzled on.

Finally, immersed in flat, cold water and surrounded by dog farts, I decided to do something I never do.

I decided to look at the answer.

It's not that I never give up. I often come across puzzles I'm too stupid to finish, but I just leave them incompleteUtterly baffled, I turned to page 89, and the truth was revealed to me:
It's enough to make even a mild-mannered person like me go into a neckspin. Or punch someone in the face.


  1. Confounded though I always am, I enjoy you witty musings. This was particularly fun.

  2. I Googled "basulane" (after puzzling over your use of it in the fourth paragraph). Three appearances on the internet -- all your blog. Maybe it's Basu Lane? A place in India, I think maybe?
    I also Googled "neophyin." Also a whopping total of three uses on the internet. Only two are yours. The third is from a website in Latin.
    You know what? I have a rough enough time with Sudoku. I think I'll not take up this Letterbox game. Sounds too stressful.