Solving crosswords at a social distance

By Asuquo Udofia

Two is company, three is a crowd – and literally so these days in cities across the world because of COVID-19.  Social distancing… self-isolation… lockdown.   These terms have been added to vocabularies with the spread of the coronavirus. In many parts of the world, social distancing has meant a lockdown of whole cities, regions and, even, countries. According to the BBC, focusing on our mental wellbeing is vital to enable us to weather the storm.

Adjusting to a new way of life

To minimise physical interaction among people, many activities and events, large and small, have been cancelled or postponed or scaled back.  These include meetings in places of worship to dealings in places of business; from the prestigious football leagues of Europe to the eagerly awaited Olympic Games of Tokyo.  And we must not forget an event close to many cruciverbalists’ hearts.  The 2020 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was cancelled, and the organisers continue to maintain a watching brief on the timing on this year’s event.  

Adjusting to the circumstances forced on us by the pandemic is not easy for some. The disruptions of routine, restriction of movements and curbing of social interactions has taken a toll on peoples mental health. In a post on Facebook, Australian Rotary Health’s Facebook page ways to unwind/decompress at the end of the day…”

Solving crosswords puzzles is the perfect ‘isolation’ activity

Even so, this stay-at-home time can be quality time.  Filled with familiar or new activities of interest, this can be one long jolly good time. Solving crosswords is one activity that is suited to the times. It’s just what the doctor ordered for recreation in isolation.

Since COVID-19 broke out, many peoples’ word bank have grown by at least two terms: lockdown and social distancing. Solving crosswords not only boosts vocabulary but also general knowledge, introducing you to new things, people and places.

Furthermore, solving crosswords helps to keep the brain fit. Solving cryptic crosswords is like getting into a brain gym. Cryptics give the grey cells a rejuvenating workout as well as improve lateral thinking skills. Also, there is the aha moment to relish in endorphin-laden glee, when you eventually puzzle out a tricky clue.

Stay connected with friends in isolation

With the developments in technology, just because you are in isolation, doesn’t mean you have to be isolated.  It is very easy to catch up and solve puzzles with friends via Zoom.  Staying connected in these challenging times is vital for us all.