Ruth is 75 years old. For the past 40 years, she has started her day by reading the newspaper while drinking coffee. When she was in her 30s, she found the political and international sections most interesting. However, with age, she began liking the crossword section and advice column most.

Her local newspaper has had the same advice columnist for as long as she could remember. The stories began repeating themselves, and the advice became more and more mundane. The crossword section, though, was created by a different person every month. One month they would have a historian make history crosswords, then another month they would have a celebrity make popular culture crosswords.

This month, it was announced that none other than Paul Ross was going to make the puzzle. Ruth almost spit her coffee out when she read that name. Paul and Ruth had dated for five years almost 30 years ago. He was now a retired meteorologist, and apparently, a crossword maker on the side. It made sense, as Paul was the one who introduced Ruth to crosswords. They would complete them together every morning before work. Every once in a while Ruth would think of Paul and her heart would pitter-patter. He was, after all, the one who got away. 

Ruth opened up the newspaper, turned to the crossword section and started reading the clues. “Strong winds, heavy rains.” Easy, she thought, writing hurricane in the spaces. Then she read the next clue “Season when we met”. Without giving it much thought, she wrote winter. It fit perfectly into the boxes. She read the hint again. “Season when we met?,” she thought.” “This is the local newspaper why is the hint something only I would know?” The next hint was “Song under the trees.” “If this fits, I’m going crazy,” she thought writing Hey Jude into the boxes. After completing the puzzle and realizing that it was, in fact, about her, she grabbed her phone and called the local newspaper. “Hi, I’m a reader. I need to speak to Paul Ross, your crossword marker this month.” “He said you would call,” the voice on the other side said. “Let me transfer you.”


  • How did Ruth know the crossword hints were directed towards her?
  • How do you think the story will continue? Explain.