My great-uncle sets crosswords. I’ve personally never set (or solved) a crossword in my life, but I like to think that it’s not all that different from how I write poetry.
The pretty-language part of poetry is, for me, all about hiding your meaning in your words. (Scrap all that creative inspiration stuff.) It’s like playing the Association Game: you’ve got to find something that’s related, but at the same time as different as you can get it, and by the end you can see no relation to what you started with at all; you’ve chosen your path so well that you can’t quite remember your way back through the maze. Logic tells you that is related, and you know it’s true, but it also feels a little bit like cheating.
So, despite the fact that I can’t solve a crossword to save my life, I hold a glimmer of hope that I’ve inherited some of my great-uncle’s crossword-setting skills. I’m now off to use them in an excellent manner by reading Pierce Brown’s Golden Son – which is to say, not using them at all!