Saturday, July 15, 2006

Ees a puzzlement

It’s summer, and I’m remembering the so-called activity books we used to take along on road trips or any trips, really. You know, those disposable books full of puzzles and riddles, books that say, for your parents, “you know it’s my vacation, too, so why can’t I have some rest from your nagging and whining and attitude for just twenty minutes, is that too much to ask?”; passivity books, they should be called.
Anyway, Madeleine was working on one of those books and …
Just kidding.
She had printed out a Harry Potter maze from the web and I was reminded of those books. The mazes were always laughably easy. All you had to do was start at the finish and work backwards. Why didn’t any of the editors think of putting in dead ends from that direction?
They did, in their infinite wisdom, think of including the solutions to these at the back of the books. But I figure, if you can’t work a maze on your own, you probably don’t have the wherewithal to locate the solution at the end.
I’ve never seen the appeal of these mazes. Has anyone? Are the writers and editors not aware that the person working on these has an aerial view of the whole thing? Where is the challenge? Are you supposed to pretend they are walls and you can’t see beyond what’s directly in front of you? If so, that is indeed a challenge.
Here’s the biggest puzzle, though. No matter how easy the mazes were, I always did them.
Ah, vacation.

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