Will Shortz

"Of the natural problems we face every day, very few have concrete solutions … But with a puzzle, you have that feeling of completion, which is very satisfying. You have not a solution but the perfect solution."

What’s an enigmatologist? It’s Will Shortz, the world’s only academically accredited puzzle master. He designed his own major program at Indiana University, which in 1974 led to his one-of-a-kind degree in Enigmatology, the study of puzzles.

Will sold his first puzzle professionally when he was just 14 years old. At age 16, he became a regular contributor to “Dell” puzzle publications. To date, Will is the author/editor of more than 500 puzzle books! He has been the puzzle master for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday since the program’s start in 1987, crossword editor of The New York Times since 1993, editor of Games magazine for 15 years, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which has been held annually since 1978. He also founded the World Puzzle Championship in 1992, and he co-founded the World Puzzle Federation in 1999.

Will hosts the puzzle segment every Sunday on NPR and serves as program director the National Puzzlers’ League convention. Through his championing of puzzles – and with public appearances on programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, How I Met Your Mother, and The Simpsons – Will has earned admiring fans from all over the world. He was also the subject of the award-winning documentary film, Wordplay.

An avid table tennis player, Will is the owner and director of the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, New York, the largest table tennis facility in the United States. He also happens to own the world’s largest collection of puzzle paraphernalia, numbering more than 25,000 pieces dating back to 1533!

Will Shortz Puts Spin on Ping Pong


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