Adventure

A Weekend With The Puzzle Master: Will Shortz

By Denise Oliveira

If you regularly pour over the crossword puzzle in The New York Times, and jealously follow along while a lucky contestant gets to play a puzzle with Will Shortz on NPR every weekend, then you should pack your bags and head to Mohonk Mountain House this weekend, where Mr. Shortz will be hosting the 33rd “Wonderful World of Words” event. He has been NPR’s puzzle master since 1987, and editor of the crossword puzzle in The New York Times since 1993.

From Friday through Sunday, participants will play puzzles and games, attend talks, and, in their free time, enjoy the resort’s hiking trails and spa. More than 150 guests are expected to attend.

“One of truly wonderful things about this program is that Will develops a set of puzzles just for this weekend,” said Nina Smiley, a spokesperson for Mohonk. ” It’s a unique set of challenges and includes a creative competition where Will invites guests to be, as he describes it, ‘elegant, ingenious and/or funny’.” It’s competitive, Ms. Smiley said. But in a very fun way.

Another highlight is Scramble Scrabble, a game played with giant tiles that was invented by the couple that created the “Wonderful World of Words” program in 1982, Gloria and Larry Rosenthal.

The line-up of word lovers who are helping to lead this year’s event include a Hollywood screenwriter, a syndicated cartoonist, and another public radio personality, Greg Pilska, presenter of “Ask Me Another.”

L to R: Greg Pliska, David Ellis Dickerson, Gloria Rosenthal, Jesse Sheidlower, Will Shortz

L to R: Greg Pliska, David Ellis Dickerson, Gloria Rosenthal, Jesse Sheidlower, Will Shortz

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