Writers have been working on this premise for centuries, but at last there is scientific proof. (Well, as scientific as a writer is likely to be in the middle of soon-to-be-described situation.) The premise — seldom articulated but routinely acted upon — is that alcohol functions as an effective, suitable, and sometimes necessary lure for the muse.
The scientific proof: Occasionally I turn to the puzzle page of The New York Times for two items. One is the Sudoku puzzle, the other is a word-completion challenge — you are given a three-letter combination, and a minute in which to think of words which begin with that combination.
Over the past several months, I have established a mean performance level. So many minutes for the difficult Sudoku, so many words in three minutes for the three-part completion puzzle.
I can now report that, after just one glass of wine (or one bottle of beer), my performance level is almost always affected. My Sudoku time rises, indicating a lag in the logical center of the brain, and my word-completion score rises, indicating an increase in the language center.
Scores are not available for significantly larger alcohol intake.