[387/441] STUMPED?

Yesterday morning, Dad sent me a text message that said, “I do not understand bizarro”.

After taking a look at it, I sent him a text, “It stumped me too.”

Later in the day, when I recalled this text, it made me think of another use of the word “stumped,” and it has to do with the newspaper as well!

When I was younger, I would often see the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, but not attempt it, either because Mom and Dad would take the paper, or because I would not have enough time to do it before school.  But, I always noticed the bottom of the puzzle below the clues.

At the bottom of the column, there was a 900-number that you could call for answers. The box started, STUMPED? Call 1-900-[I-Forgot-The-Number] … [I Forgot The Rest Of This Box.]

So, because the word “STUMPED?” was in all capitals and bold and of a larger font size, it became salient to me whenever I saw it.  Of course, I never called it, for I rarely attempted the puzzles, and Mom and Dad would not have been happy with me calling a toll number on a whim.  This was back in the day when long-distance phone calling cost extra.  How times have changed!

For that matter, who uses 1-900 numbers anymore?  I wonder if that number got a lot of business back then…


Today is the three-hundred and eighty-seventh day of Mission 441.  Fifty-four days remain.


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