Pencils for solving

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SewYoung
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:25 pm
Location: Meridian, MS

Pencils for solving

#1

Post by SewYoung » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:12 pm

Does anyone have a recommendation for the best type of pencil for solving puzzles in a newspaper. The regular #2 pencils, which is all I can find locally, will only do well for a few minutes before needing to be sharpened again. Unfortunately, I do not do well with a mechanical pencil. I think that may have something to do with being left-handed. Writing with the left hand causes one to push the pencil rather than pulling as happens when writing with the right hand, and the point tends to catch on the paper and if it is very sharp, it will tear. I can actually print fairly well with my right hand, but only if I am sitting at a table, which I usually am not when working a puzzle. I developed that skill so that I could work a puzzle and eat my lunch at the same time without having to put down the pencil every time I picked up my fork.
Any advice will be appreciated.

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FrankieHeck
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:57 pm
Location: West Virginia

#2

Post by FrankieHeck » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:48 pm

This is bringing back memories of my grandparents' kitchen table, where they would do crosswords. There were always old, dull #2 pencils on the table, and half of them had those very hard erasers that do nothing but make a horrible noise when you try to erase. I guess they didn't make many mistakes.

I don't solve in a newspaper, and I'm right-handed, so I'm no help at all. My go-to pencil is a mechanical Bic Velocity with 0.9 mm lead. I print lightly, and then when I'm satisfied that all is correct, I usually go over it with a Micron 08 pen, and erase the pencil. Then it's ready for circling, shading, highlighting, or whatever I need. That's my version of the Joe Ross method, because I wouldn't be able to use a spreadsheet to save my life.

SewYoung
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:25 pm
Location: Meridian, MS

#3

Post by SewYoung » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:45 pm

Pencil Update in case anyone is interested: I ordered a small assortment of art pencils which included HB, 2B, 4B and 6B. The 2B seemed to be just a regular #2. All the others were much better for writing on newspaper, but I like the 6B the best of those three. I went ahead and ordered a dozen to last a while. The only drawback is that, being art pencils, they do not have erasers. But usually the eraser doesn't last nearly as long as the pencil anyway, so not a huge problem. BTW: a regular #2 is just fine for regular printer paper, just not so good for newsprint.

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