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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Targets of perfection


At 88, my dad worries about his mental capacity, and uses the Telegraph's cryptic crossword as a means of checking this. On our weekly call he will often say "I didn't do very well this week" and the niggle at the back of my mind would wonder whether decline was imminent.

Until that is I asked " how many did you struggle with dad".

His answer was "oh about 3 this week".

"3 whole crosswords?" I asked.

"No 3 clues". Let's put this into perspective, there's approximately 25 clues a day, and 7 crosswords a week, and my dad was worried that he was failing to answer less than 2% of the clues. Interestingly, I'm happy if I manage one clue, and therefore have a much lower success target of about 4% to my dads 100%. It just shows how easy it can be to set such high standards, and start to catastrophise a little too quickly.

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