Christmas Clues 2012: Day 10 - Making spirits bright! (only not!)
Merry Copics-for-Christmas to me!

Christmas Clues 2012: Day 11 - WORDS! What are they good for?

Apologies for not having this up last night. Yesterday ended up being jam-packed with shuttling people around. But now the house is quiet, the coffee's hot, and I can properly type up yesterday's clue.

If you recall, we are doing the clues after school since Emma is still playing catch-up. They have finals next week, so she's going to tutorials before school and after school each day and it's much too chaotic to cram in a clue during our limited morning time.

However, after I've made the coffee and packed the lunches, I will sometimes have a few minutes to catch up on my Words with Friends games. I do this at the breakfast table on my iPad. Emma was eating cereal.

ME: Danday!

This was said like Seinfeld says "Newman!" with a fist shake and everything.

EMMA: Huh?

ME: It's Danday. She always beats me at Words with Friends.

EMMA: Well maybe now you know what it feels like when other people play against you at games.

ME: True, I do normally win against everyone else.

She has a point. Nobody will play Boggle with me.

But here's the thing. I'm not a Boggle prodigy. I am good at Boggle from years of practice as a teenager. My Aunt Linda and cousin Jackie loved the game as much as I did. Aunt Linda's dining room would be eerily silent for 3 minutes while we each feverishly created our word lists, then break into an explosion of sound when someone called "time", lists were compared, groans were heard when good words overlapped and had to be crossed, and congratulations granted (and sometimes "prove it!" challenges) when someone found a really big unique word. Points were totaled, the lid put on the shaker, and then the insanely loud process of shaking and settling the dice commenced. You weren't supposed to cheat and peer through the frosted dome while the dice were being settled, but I suspect that we all did, a time or two. 

ME: (quoting The Princess Bride) It's not easy being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise!

EMMA: I'm sure there are plenty of people who can beat you - they just don't play Words with Friends.

ME: No, I'm pretty sure it's the first thing - where I'm the best in the world. Well, other than Danday, that is. I'm number 2.

EMMA: Mom, there are billions of people on the planet.

ME: Exactly. And someone has to be the best at Words with Friends. You're proving my point. I mean, someone's luggage has to come out first on the baggage carousel and that is NEVER me, so obviously MY thing is being better than billions of people (minus Danday) at Words with Friends.

EMMA: (eye roll) Riiiight!

I'm not a Words prodigy either. One of my computers, maybe a decade ago, came pre-loaded with Scrabble where you could play against the computer. I *am* a procrastination prodigy, so of course I learned lots of clever plays from the computer. Things you can do with "Q" when you don't have a "U" - things like that. I had no idea at the time that I was actually training for a not-yet-developed app called Words with Friends.

I don't use any sort of Words cheats, although *some* of my Friends *cough*Gary*cough* play some highly suspicious words that they cannot seem to define when challenged in the chat box. No worries - I still try to win. Maybe I learn a new word in the process. It's like having the benefit of the cheat apps without paying for them! (So there!)

Speaking of words (the segues!) I was particularly proud of my poetry in yesterday's clue:

17 Clue11
18 Read11
KARL: What is WITH these sloppy seals?!

OK, so I bought the cool wax seal kit at the start of these clues 5 years ago, son. The wax things are down to nubs and the wicks won't light. I have to light the whole glob on fire and in this case, the clue itself was momentarily ablaze. I will go in search of a candle for today's clue before I burn the house down, 'mmkay?

I love the irony of this next picture, in which they had no idea what they were looking for, despite the hiding spot being right in front of them.

19 Ponder11
KARL: I guess it could be some sort of decoration? What provides comfort?

EMMA: Yeah, but you don't hold the decorations. This has to be something you hold.

KARL: Shares a birthday with Jesus . . . 

EMMA: Wait! Karl, which one of the dogs has her birthday on Christmas Day?

KARL: It's Katie. Lucy's birthday is in October.

20 Find11
EMMA: How could the money be attached to her?

KARL: It's twist-tied to the collar. I got it.

ME: Well done! Your detecting skills are improving. Sit in the chair there and I'll get your victory shot. You ready? Ready, Emma? I'm going to take the picture now. Ready?

21 Success11

John asked to see the clue.

JOHN: Shouldn't it be "she"?

ME: Only if I wanted to make it totally obvious! Might as well just put the money inside the envelope!

JOHN: I guess . . . but calling the dog an "it"?

ME: "this thing" was too many syllables.