That morning I was out in the garden,
Body in chair, newspaper in hand
My mind none knows where
for it was lost in thought.
So many right, yet so many left.
So many acrosses, I was feeling down
Was it hell or inferno?
Ere come flying did this crow
Blacker than night
Darker even than the mind
of the grid-setter so cryptic.
Twinkle in eye, mischief brimming
the crow, he perched on the arm of my chair,,
looked through icily, said
“What have we here, boxes?
Light boxes, dark boxes,
Shaded boxes, numbered boxes
but filled, lettered ones so few.
It is, I see, that which Nature she abhors!
As to how to fill these blanks,
I’m sure, you have no clue!”
Thus spake the crow.
To these words offence I did take,
For though no master, I was no slouch
And I taught him the perilous
ways through the Holy Grid.
About how a tree was an unetched three
And how the ear was the sense organ of time
About how Al ever managed to operate the lever
And how confused fears made you feel safer.
Thus I explained to him at length
About clues- cryptic, quick, hidden
and other literal sorts you know
the rowdy, wordy anagrammic clues
and funny, punny homophones.
At this juncture,
I paused my lecture.
Not because my pupil was perplexed
rather `cos his were unflexed!
The insolent indolent crow,
he smiled a knowing smile
Not in the least awed
(I know) for now he guffawed
and then he cawed,
The CrossWord, tis but an eternal truth
The Beginning, cross words were heard
no sooner than God made woman.
Then so many battles, so many wars
when all people did was cross swords”
(How words could this get, I thought)
“And I believe Christ’s last utterings
are now to be had as the Cross-Words,
Oh, the way he punned it
I knew he was no crow ordinary
Really, he was some pundit!
And then went flying did the crow.
There was nothing left to do
But to bid goodbye
and jot those immortal thoughts down.
For these crass words
I am not to blame.
(Though the excuse is lame)
These were but the crow’s words!
- Thomas Jay Cubb