Occasionally when I am stuck on a clue in my crossword puzzles, I ask John if he knows the answer. I don’t really like to do this because it seems worse than using the internet for an answer. (It’s a pride thing.) But frequently, even before he tells me the answer, I know it. Why is this?

Then last night when were watching the finals of the SAP Open, I noticed that when Leyton Hewitt starting getting behind, he started muttering aloud. He was kind of exhorting himself to do the right thing. I do that too. When John and I play tennis and I am going through a particularily bad patch, I start saying out loud, “Watch the ball,” Move your feet,” or “Get the racket back.” It helps.

For some reason, hearing the clue is different from reading it. Exclaiming aloud what’s the right thing to do is different from knowing it in your head. Muttering your grocery list while at the store helps better than just mentally ticking off the items. Saying these things out loud must travel through different pathways in ones brain and that helps you to find the answers, make the right moves or remember the ketchup.

PS to Mike: I read the article and I am thinking about it. I’ll be posting something about it once I decide what I want to say.

PPS: I see there is a growing brouhaha over selling the operations of the ports to the UAE on both the Democratic and Republican sides. Chertoff was busily defending the administration’s position on the news shows this weekend. I am glad that this issue is coming to the attention of more Americans.

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