I fear I am in danger of living life entirely for cryptic crossword clues.
They are taking over. I am dreaming about them.
This morning I was dragged from slumber by the following words:
'No diamonds in Venice - time to get even?' (6)
All night, in a state of semi-consciousness and restless agony, those same thirty-one letters stalked the bedroom. Finally, at 5.47am, finding myself fully awake and already in motion, I pushed back the covers and headed for the kitchen table.
And there it was: yesterday's cryptic.
It wasn't until 6.23am - by then wildly caffeinated and buried deep in concentration beneath the dim light of the extractor fan - that I twigged.
Venice with no diamonds - no 'ice.' And time - 'age.'
A six letter word meaning 'to get even.'
It was too late to go back to bed. Instead, I waltzed - spring-heeled - to the newsagents and bought today's paper.
Crossword No 24, 914.
Set by Araucaria. The most impenetrable of them all.
It is presently 23.41pm in your homeplace, Morrissey. And it is here that you find me, still caffeinated, still haunted, with only five clues solved.
It's going to be a long night.
Love, Peace, Harmony,