The Crossword Answerer

This is based on watching a man on a train intent on completing the crossword.




No mystic, like a puritan seeking God

He looks for the right answer. His brow furrowed

Mouth tight, hands twitching

As he nearly writes.


No half-truths, no deception will deliver

Only the narrow path to 13 down

Will reach the treasure

That will point him on


To the next clue, and when the puzzle’s conquered

The oyster’s open and the pearl has gone

He’ll start another

Endless it might be

For what the end might be, there is no clue.


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  1. I have a friend who does crossword puzzles just like you describe–Me, I can’t do them…

    • I don’t do crossword puzzles either. I suppose I could, but it doesn’t interest me. I’d rather devise them. My 86-year-old mother, though, does quite difficult ones regularly. I suppose the poem is describing a type of person I’m not.


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