For most of my life I've enjoyed crossword puzzles. The ones they call "quick" crosswords (although that's something of an oxymoron in my case) with general knowledge clues and straight word definitions that can be looked up in an encyclopaedia or a dictionary as a last resort. Many times I've looked at the clues in crosswords of the cryptic variety and given up when most times I couldn't see the answer to a solitary clue.
Recently I started to question why I couldn't solve these puzzles. I've always loved words and those who know me well often roll their eyes at my silly little wordplay jokes. To Google I went, and sure enough, there was a plethora of advice available on how to solve cryptics. "Don't be discouraged," one website told me, "if you can solve up to five clues in your first few weeks you're doing well". One crossword a day is all I have time for, and The Otago Daily Times (you won't find the crossword, they need to sell papers!) supplied the raw material. On the fifth day, I completed the puzzle correctly! Sadly, this makes me neither genius or expert, but it does make me a cryptic nut. And old dogs can learn new tricks!