Noticing Stuff

Some years ago I directed the play version of M*A*S*H. It was really excellent and if you didn’t see it, you have to live with that fact. You missed a great show. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. In getting myself into a M*A*S*H*Y state of mind, I binged up to Season six (then I ran out of gas and time). I noticed things that I had never seen before when I watched as a child on TV (leave my age out of it). For example, I had no idea that Radar in so many of the early season episodes, was seen eating a ton of food. It was a running gag I’d never noticed before. But because I was watching 3-6 episodes a day, every day for a few weeks, I noticed it.

For the last half year or so, I’ve been working on a daily streak of doing the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. It’s partly to honor my mother who did it all the time (she died last summer) but also because I just really enjoy doing the puzzle. But when you do it every day, you really notice the clues that get reused over and over and over. A few examples. One day last fall or so there was a clue for which the answer was OREOTHINS. In the NYT’s blog about the puzzle, the author pointed out that this was a debut in the puzzle. It had never appeared in it before. Over the next three weeks or so, it showed up again one or two more times. More recently, clues about parabolas being an ARC have been prevelent. And who knew there were so many ways to clue OGRE/OGRES?

This is apropos of nothing, really. I just thought it was interesting the stuff you notice when you do a lot of something vs. dipping in and out every once and a while. Makes me wonder what else I am missing…

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