The Who2 Blog

Puzzles and Ping Pong

Will Shortz edits the New York Times crossword puzzle, sells millions of books (millions!)… and is a ping pong mogul?

Crossword puzzlers across the country know Will Shortz. Read our brief biography of Will Shortz and you will, too, without having to memorize the names of Jewish months or agonizing over whether “native Alaskan” means Inuit or Aleut.

Fans also know him as The Puzzle Master on public radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday, and as one of the central figures in the 2005 documentary Wordplay (and that’s a good movie). Will Shortz is easily the most famous name in crossword puzzles since “Funny Man Johnson.”

And he has sold millions of books. A lot of them are crossword puzzle books, so maybe you think that doesn’t count. But even more of them are sudoku books, so there. There’s even been a movie made from one of his books (2009’s Sudoku Puzzle #413: Total of the Nines).

As it turns out, Shortz is also a tennis table enthusiast. A tennis table enthusiast with 13,000 square feet of ping pong paradise in Pleasantville. Will Shortz is the owner of the Westchester Table Tennis Center, which is run by one of the Western Hemisphere’s best players, a table tennis champ with the ping-pongy name of Robert Roberts.

And Will plays table tennis, not ping pong. Here’s a list of places Will Shortz has played competitive ping pong.

It’s good that Mr. Shortz has a way to relax and work out any stress he experiences on the job. By stress I mean having to deal with complaining puzzlers like this one.

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