Thursday, April 01, 2010

PSF - Meeting Puzzle Master Will Shortz

On April 11, 2010, the second annual Boston Crossword Puzzle Tournament will be held at Harvard University.  Last year, I went and had the privilege of meeting the one and only Will Shortz (yes, this draft nearly a year old), the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle.  I know him best as host of NPR’s Sunday puzzle.

Before I went to last year’s tournament, a co-worker asked me about my plans for the weekend and I answered enthusiastically that I was going to a crossword tournament.  I got a look that said - OMG you are a total geek.  Forget rock concerts or sporting events.  Crosswords for this geek!  Remember, I was on the math team in high school.

Will Shortz and me!

And what exactly does a crossword puzzle tournament look like?

Boston Crossword Puzzle Tournament

It was an extremely quiet geek fest, definitely not like a sporting event. This tournament was held in a lecture hall in the Science Center at Harvard University. People scribbled away on their puzzles, and raised their hands when they were done. The guy standing in the aisle was one of several people who scanned for raised hands and marked the finished puzzles with the time.

I actually arrived late so I didn’t register to compete.  I did try solving a few puzzles, but found myself extremely rusty.  And I was tempted to look up answers on my iPhone.  It's what I do for everything else in my life!  Don’t think I’ll be in shape for this year either, oh well!

Will is funny, humble and incredibly classy.

After the competition, Will took a few minutes to relay some cool stories.  I had previously posted about Will appearing on the Simpsons and in this video, he elaborates on that experience as well as being a video clue on Jeopardy.

Here are links to other videos I took about a wedding proposal, choosing puzzle difficulty for the NY Times, and the 2000 Election Day puzzle.

Look what else I saw when I was there.  A crossword scarf!  I want to knit one of these!  Knitting and crosswords, a perfect match for this geek.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Life With Kaishon


Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I never even knew these existed!

Boston Mamas said...

Dude, that's geektastic! I love his sudoku puzzles. :-)

Unknown said...

I think my Mom would love something like that. She likes crossword puzzles! Do they have a rule to make sure no one does look anything up on their iphones?

Cecily R said...

I am so not cool in this area. I can barely handle the crossword puzzles that my kids bring home from school.

Still want to be my blog pal? Please?