Word Games

I'm having serious trouble walking for any distance, so that rules out shopping for pleasure, walking the many gorgeous footpaths around here, and gardening for any more than ten minutes at a time. the way to stay out of pain is to sit down, and do nothing. Yeah, right.

So I'm grateful for the Guardian's recent introduction of a whole page puzzle page every weekday, containing little intellectual teasers of various kinds and depth. They're not as demanding as the cryptic crossword, but they help pass the time, and I regulerly use them when I'm preparing meals, giving me little spells of idleness in between other spells of moving around the kitchen.

The Word wheel gives you nine letters. You have to make as many words as you can from these, and every word must include the letter underlined. there is always a nine-letter anagram, made up using all the letters. Normally I do OK on this, often crack the anagram, usually get the Excellent score or thereabouts. But not on Monday. Here are the letters:

K A T O E C S R H

When I can't crack it straight away, I think of words that might be part of it, or combinations of words, like SHOCK RATE; EARTH SOCK; TACK HORSE; STAR CHOKE; ROCK HEATS; HERO STACK; TRACK SHOE. (I had to check that last one, but no, it really is two words). Isn't it amazing what fun you can have playing around with letters? Who'd have thought there were so many possibilities? Did I get it in the end? Did I hell. It was SHORTCAKE.