Puzzle Master Coming to Town
If you're into crossword puzzles--and I confess that I'm not and never have been--you can catch the grand guru of the realm, Will Shortz, in Cleveland later this month. Unfortunately, it'll cost you handsomely: tickets for the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation fundraiser are $150 each. But then, it's for one of the best possible causes. Shortz is the celebrated crossword editor of the New York Times, as well as the puzzle master of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. I have to admit to a terrible bias when it comes to crossword puzzles (it's not unlike the bias I have against people who insist on letting you know about about their membership in the Mensa Society), or more precisely, those who do them regularly. While I love words as much as anyone, I've always harbored the suspicion that for many puzzle fans, the exercise seems to be at least as much about proclaiming their intellectual bona fides as it is about sharpening their word skills. Am I wrong? Please, crossword puzzle fans (and Mensa folks too), let me hear from you. And by all means, don't hesitate to heap upon me the abuse which I so richly deserve. Shortz, by the way, sounds like a wonderfully delightful guy (he's a native of Indiana), judging by the occasional snatches I see and hear of him on TV & radio.