For many years I have had the NYT xword app on my phone. For many years, I did the xword religiously every day. People would be talking (at work) about video games and I’d snicker and say my game was the xword.

And then, a couple summers ago, I kinda stopped. Abruptly. I had discovered OTHER xword apps, the New Yorker and I fergit what else. I escalated into doing them all! Xword addiction! But then. I had an iPhone XS and the keyboard started acting intermittently wonky. Xwords started being frustrating but I lived with it for a while until one day I realized that my phone was kinda swelling. Oh this is not good.

I was at the moomincabin at the time and there is no Apple store there but there IS an AT&T where you can buy iPhones. I got the only iPhone XS in Sault Ste. Siberia (I still have it). It was the weirdest phone buying experience ever. We were the only customers in the store and the woman was distracted from the get-go and apparently didn’t understand that I WANTED TO BUY AN IPHONE NOW and that I was prepared to PAY FOR IT NOW. I dunno what she was thinking, that I was some stoopid old bag or what. When she started asking about payment plans, I said, “Well, I was planning on PAYING FOR IT TODAY. Can I DOOO that?” And things started moving along right quick. (I was politer than that, just that I felt like I was banging my head.)

Somehow that marked the beginning of a hiatus from my xword gaming. Until today. One of the beach urchins texted a pic of today’s (unfinished) xword with a Commanderism in it. “If you catch my drift.” Except it didn’t fit. I immediately asked, “It’s Thursday, is there a trick?” Because Thursday puzzles always have some kind of trick. And then suddenly I was tapping away, solving the puzz on my own.

I was a little rusty at first but then I somehow caught the drift trick in the puzz and got it solved. The trick? Six of the clues for words that end at the bottom have “FT” (foot) as the last two letters and those are beneath the bottom boundary of the puzz. So “IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT” is “IF YOU CATCH MY DRI”. The other part of the trick is “SIX FEET UNDER”, which apparently was a movie.

I’m not sure if The Comm ever shortened “If you catch my drift” into “drifterino” but she may have coined “catcherino” but it’s all kind of the same thing. What the beach urchins may not know is that crossing “IFYOUCATCHMYDRI” at the very very top is “ENID”. The clue for that is “Seat of Oklahoma’s Garfield County.” It took me longer than it should have to get that one. My parents LIVED in Enid part of the time they were rattling around the American southwest when my old coot was a WWII flight instructor. ‘course that was a long time before I was born so I don’t remember it 🐽

2 Responses to “Drifterino”

  1. isa Says:

    Good morning, grandmoose.

  2. Margaret Says:

    That sounds like the very difficult double barreled crosswords that my Scottish friends did. They have a name but I can’t remember it. I was hopeless at them!