I often enjoy solving clues in the Times-News laid out by prolific puzzler Jacqueline Mathews. Sometimes I’m nearing completion and then, with a little help from my friends, we crack the whole thing.
Last summer on a work break, Noah and I discovered a unique mind-bender: the clue for 54 across was: “Adam didn’t have one, if you think about it.” We needed five letters across, but checking the down clues, we had unraveled only one which indicated the middle letter should be “V.” We returned to work, placing the puzzle aside and, though we picked it up later, couldn’t figure out what Adam was missing. A good wife? Some ribs? Snake repellant? In the evening after mulling the clues more, the answer came in a flash. Adam didn’t have a “navel” – if you think about it. I called Noah and he was equally tickled with Adam’s belly button. Then, with the gift of Google, we researched paintings of Adam from antiquity and realized that dozens of ancient painters had not considered it either, because smack dab next to Adam’s rib was residual evidence of his umbilical cord leading to a larger great mystery.