Why Don’t I Think of That?

The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) from The Wizard of Oz. 1939. Credit.

When it occurs to you later
That something wasn’t occurring to you earlier,
You say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

And when it occurs to you now
That it’s not occurring to you now,
You say, “Why don’t I think of that?”

So it doesn’t occur to you
What doesn’t occur to you
Until it does—
Unless it just doesn’t, of course.

But even so, o wise one,
Let us marvel at how
Knowing this about yourself
From myriad experiences
Doesn’t always keep you
From being adamant
That a thing is not occurable
If it hasn’t occurred to you already.

I have repeatedly experience a great example of this while playing Wordle. Almost without exception, every word the puzzle uses is a word I know, and yet I am frequently amazed by what words will not occur to me on demand, even though I may have three of the five letters already in place! Though it all makes perfect sense after it is finally solved (or revealed), I’ll say to myself (and to Kay), “I just couldn’t see it.”

On this particular day, I simply ran out of tries, but when CANOE was finally revealed, it struck me that no such word had occurred to me—the O, in particular.

There are other days when I find myself without any ideas whatsoever, even after the second or third try. I’m in such a predicament after my third attempt today, as it happens, but I won’t reveal it to you lest it be a spoiler!

ADDED 6 June: Alas! It is now the next day, and I never got back to my stalled Wordle from yesterday. I’m still where I got stuck and couldn’t “see” any word that seems to fit with how I can reason that the correct word must go: either E_NU_ or E_N_U.

Regardless, I’ll spend a few minutes on it now, and hopefully make it to today’s puzzle before the day is over. Here’s the latest:

It simply does not come to mind, what word could fit here based on what I have learned already–and can deduce.

And here’s my final screen shot, from just a few minutes later—after my wife suggested that E_NU_ is the right pattern.

In going through every possible letter, I pondered the double N, after which ENNUI popped into my mind. But it’s not a word I know, and it just barely came to mind as a word at all. So I checked its definition and found: a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction—boredom.

And now I know why I didn’t think of it this time—because it’s not in my vocabulary. Hopefully, though, I’ll come up with another example soon—which I will add to this post—of a word I do know, that just won’t come to mind.

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