The Only Game in Town!

The pandemic, which has noticeably quieted our human hubbub, has certainly created a far more inviting, critter-friendly habitat… inclusive of my own backyard (which, btw, is situated less than 0.8km from a small forest). Case in point…

Today, mid-afternoon, I spotted a small furry visitor, which, most assuredly, was not one of the countless rabbits who, since this past February, have successfully set up housekeeping within the immediate vicinity.

Anyway, this critter’s vision must’ve been impaired, seeing how she (or was it a he?) could not spot me directly behind my patio door… not even when we were “socially distanced” at a mere 0.6 of a meter! Or maybe the screen and reflective glass was sufficient to render me invisible?

Whatever the case, remaining out of sight and at a close vantage point, had afforded me the opportunity for comprehensive study… in particular… to ascertain the exact species (my hypothesis being either a wolverine or woodchuck). Fortunately, my Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia includes fine photography of both.

However, it wasn’t until I had read about the differing fur lengths and my visitor struck a standing up pose (just like in one of the photos) that I became reasonably certain that this small short-haired mammal is a woodchuck.

However as for what purpose Woody was visiting me? I could only guess. Perhaps it was wood chips still remaining from three recent tree stump grinding projects? Well, apparently, wood would not be on the menu.

All the sudden, there came ol’ Woody lumbering (more like waddling) in hot… more like tepid… pursuit of its intended prey… the far faster, fleeing for its life, panic-stricken chipmunk (belated apologies to both for my being gender unspecific).

As for my post game analysis of this small game hunting expedition… pandemic edition…

I’d say the chipmunk should feel damned lucky that ol’ Woody had not been schooled by my neighborhood’s feline mousers… the veritable clowder of cats… who are always on the prowl, too. From what I’ve seen, their laid-back, stalk and capture techniques seem to be damned near close to 100% successful. In other words, neighborhood mice don’t stand a chance.

As for my op-ed… pandemic sports edition…

Seeing how the coronavirus crisis has already sidelined most fall season, collegiate and professional sports… and factoring in how the animal world has been routinely reclaiming suburban… even urban… areas… perhaps the TV sports networks need to dispatch their play by play announcers and full camera crews into my neck of the woods. It’d appear that…

I’ve got the only game in town!

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATTN: Cryptologists / Spies (Pros and Wannabes)!

 

Every Sunday, a publisher, near my hometown, still prints a version of their online news… including an entire section devoted to puzzles… e.g., the Sunday LA and NY Times Crosswords and, in some cases, up to an entire weeks’ worth of brainteasers such as Sudoku, Jumble and CryptoQuip.

However, my not wanting to go out in public, during a pandemic, just to buy a newspaper, I’ve been relying on my squirreled away stash of these brainteasers, which, up till social isolating became the abnormal new norm, I’ve rarely found the time to solve.

Seeing how we’ve all been feeling bored, I figured that some of you may even be game for a bit of puzzle solving, too.

True, I could’ve pirated one of those published Crytoquips, but since I do respect copyright laws, I decided to encrypt one of my own quips.

DIRECTIONS: In my CommonSenseQuip, below, once you determine, e.g., what the letter “T” stands for, write that letter beneath it and under every other “T” you find. Of course you don’t necessarily have to start with the “T”. Decrypt this in whatever order that makes the most sense to you.

GENERAL HINTS: A savvy spy is always mindful of the personality / politics of whomever (s)he has under surveillance and will also factor in the place and time in which the message had been encoded. After all, this subject matter can correspond to current events, holidays, nationality, etc.

SPECIFIC HINTS: Being mindful of syntax, grammar and punctuation protocols is also helpful. There’s also that dead giveaway standalone “K”, which can only decode as “A” or “I”. Beyond that, you’ll need to track down word patterns. It’s usually wise to begin with the repetitive 2 and 3-letter words. However, there is that one 6-letter word, in particular, that does have a rather unique to the English language pattern, too. All of that duly noted…

Power up your printer and sharpen up your pencil (one with a good eraser) to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be the next Nancy Drew or James Bond.

While I’ll be posting the CommonSenseQuip solution by the end of Tuesday, 04/14/20 (Eastern U.S. Time Zone), if you have any questions, prior to that, post them in the comment section. Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Well…

 

TS K EOTNLF EONSNOL FY EONKMR FY ENCL EKMHNZ CTFR ENYEWN, CRTWN

 

K EYCNOSGW EKFRYBNU EONMTETFKFNL KUZ ENOENFGKFNL K EKUZNATM,

 

FY EONXNUF K EONAKFGON EYCCYC CTFR ENKOWJ BKFNHNNENO ENFNO,

 

FRN EKOTLRYUNOL LRYGWZ EOYAEFWJ EGF FRN EKLFYO YGF FY EKLFGON!