Crossword Puzzle Guru Will Shortz Has a Stroke

'New York Times' puzzle editor and NPR figure is recovering
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2024 6:11 AM CST
Crossword Puzzle Guru Will Shortz Has a Stroke
Will Shortz in a screenshot from video.   (YouTube/HBO)

The nation's grandmaster of crossword puzzles delivered some unwelcome news to fans over the weekend: He's had a stroke. Will Shortz, the longtime crossword puzzle editor at the New York Times and a fixture of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, made a recorded statement on the NPR show Sunday, reports Variety:

  • "Hey guys, this is Will Shortz. Sorry I've been out the last few weeks. I had a stroke on Feb. 4 and have been in rehabilitation since then, but I am making progress. I'm looking forward to being back with new puzzles soon." Listen to the statement via NPR, at the 6:20 mark.

No word yet on whether the stroke might impair Shortz's duties. "We love Will, and I know that everybody at home does, too," said show host Ayesha Rascoe. "And we are rooting for him, and we are so hopeful and know that he will feel better soon."

  • Shortz has been the crossword puzzle editor at the Times since 1993, becoming only the fourth person to hold the title.
  • He has been appearing on Weekend Edition Sunday with a puzzle segment since the program began in 1987.
  • The Times notes he designed his own degree in enigmatology, the "scientific study of puzzles as it is related to semiotics, culture and cognition," at Indiana University. He graduated there in 1974.
(More crossword puzzle stories.)

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