As a puzzle-obsessed child, Will Shortz’s father gave him some sound advice: “Puzzles are an avocation, they are not a vocation.”
Had he followed that advice, The New York Times crossword editor would likely be someone else altogether.
Instead, Shortz’s love of puzzles led him not only to edit one of the most popular sections of the newspaper, but also to amass a collection of historic puzzles, which he says is the largest in private hands.
Shortz said his love of letters and words – his favorite letter is Q -- was inspired by his mother who was a writer. And his childhood hero was not Superman or the Lone Ranger, but Sam Lloyd, a puzzlemaker of the early 20th century.
Shortz created his first puzzles at age 8 and then sold one to a puzzle magazine at 14, becoming a regular contributor two years later. He is the only person in the world to have a college degree in enigmatology (his thesis was on the history of American word puzzles before 1860). Not believing he could make a living atRead More »from Will Shortz: Crossword Tips…and the One Puzzle He Can’t Solve