American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 Crossword Tournament

In the News

Source: Today Show
Date: July 27, 2011
Byline: Jenna Bush Hager

Don't be puzzled! Will Shortz explains crosswords

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


From closed captioning.

jenna bush hager caught up with the true puzzle master.

everybody loves a good puzzle. more than 50 million americans, at least occasionally, complete crosswords. i sat down with the king of the modern puzzle, will shorts , ak, the editor of "the new york times" crossword to discuss, what else, all things puzzles. 7 down, 14 across, black and white grids in clever clues. those puzzlie ining and often challenging crossword puzzles.

italian style.

meet will short, editor of "the new york times" crossword since 1993 . his name is synonymous with these puzzles. his icon status, an appearance on "the simpsons."

"new york times" crossword editor will shortz.

we're faced with problems every day in life. and we just mull through the best we can. the human puzzle like the crossword or a sunuku, when you fill in the last square, it's perfection.

it first appeared in the new york world in 1913 . it was also simon & schuster 's first published book, pencil included. arts and pop culture , shortz makes sure he stays current and playful. just this month, 23 across, matt in the morning. this one we know. l-a-u-e-r. shortz is a true word offe.

i love to read them. i love to learn new words. my favorite new word is ucalegon.

he's also the only person in the world who has a degree in nameatology, definition, all things puzzles.

the course i took was on 20th century american word puzzles.

a few raised eyebrows.

what are you going to do with a degree in puzzles, yeah.

he made a career in what most consider a hobby. it's only fitting that i ask what inquiring people want to know. do you do it in pencil?

pencil, daily newspaper , pen.

i'm a mechanical pencil girl myself. what do you think about googling the answers, is that cheating?

my answer is, it's your puzzle. sorvel it anyway you like.

monday starts off a little easier and every day they get slightly harder?

that's right. monday is the easiest puzzle on the week. friday and saturday is the hardest. saturday is the killer.

for word wizards everywhere, they strength then memory.

every time we engage our brain in a challenging activity, profound changes can occur. and it actually changes the physical structure of the brain, so it's so important to stay mentally active.

and those with the puzzle addiction, there is a place for you.

i'm whit from vancouver, bc.

hi, i'm leslie, i'm from portland, maine.

for nearly 175 years national puzzlers league convention has brought puzzle enthusiasts together.

a lot of people have said when they come to their first convention it's like finding a lost tribe .

when you tell your friends in brooklyn, i'm going to a puzzling convention, what's the reaction you typically get?

a little bit of eye roll.

you can't necessarily get this in your real life . this group, this community satisfies a need, almost an itch, almost a compulsion that we can only really seek out with each other.

more than just telling out letters and boxes, here's a hint to why they seek those challenges.

you finish a tough puzzle, you feel you've succeeded, you've accomplished something, and you feel on top of the world for a few seconds before you go on to the next puzzle.

and, you guys, will shortz created a puzzle just for us.



we thought maybe for all those puzzle solvers we could try to solve it right now. it's on our website as well.


if you miss these, you go --

it's monday.

he played himself in 2009 in "land of the lost" where he ended up with a violent competition with will ferrell.

oh, oh, oh.


she began a news in the bronx and made her own clothes and made to dance.

tap dance .

that would be natalie.

that's amazing.

48 across. she scored first place on her arizona bar exam in 2002.




let's go to 23 down. he once hosted the msnbc game show, "remember this."

nobody does.

and finally, in 2007 , she bungee jumped off the transporter bridge in middles middlesboro, england.

why would you do that?

no, no.

top rated morning tv show

Return to In the News Index