Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will Shortz, Brainiac

Much of life is filled with puzzles and conundrums that we cannot comprehend. This blog is filled with them. So it's a delight to the mind, body, and soul to be able to occasionally solve one - and that is what Will Shortz gives us. Today is his birthday. As crosswords editor of the New York Times and my favorite, Puzzle Master on NPR's Sunday Edition, Mr. Shortz gives us a breather with his enigmatological gift. He says it best here:

"Most problems we're faced with, we just do the best we can — we muddle through. We never know if it's the best solution or not. With a human-made puzzle, when you answer the challenge, you know you have a perfect solution. It's satisfying."

So in honor of his day, do a crossword or try this KenKen, his latest discovery!


G said...

Aha, we share something else in common. We are crossword addicts (NY, LA, USA Today, Universal, Cubicm, etc, etc. We get a kick each time we find a NYT to be readily (not easily) solvable, we say "Well we know Will well enough to get into his shortz.

Jeanette said...

This – that there is so much grey in life, and so little black-and-white. Math (at lower levels) is very black and white – you either have the right answer or you don’t, and when you are done with a problem, you are done. There is no more – unlike essays and history and English where there is always more you could say, or a better way to say it. Etc. In a world where so much is unknown, to have knowns, and solid places is so refreshing – that’s why math is not only important, but fun. This is what I told my 7th & 8th grade class one day when they asked why we had to bother learning math anyway. And they were mesmerized. It was my best teaching day ever I think. It was 25 years ago and I still remember it – I hope they do. Anyway, all that to say I like Will Shortz thinking on this. Have you seen the documentary they did on the crossword puzzle tournament he runs every year? Word Play it’s called.