Current Weather
The Spy FM

Will Shortz: Aging Gopher Maracas

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
July 20, 2012

Ever heard of “enigmatology”? It’s the study of puzzles, and there’s currently only one person who holds a degree in it — Will Shortz. The ultimate puzzle guru visits Ask Me Another as this week’s Mystery Guest to discuss his all-time favorite crossword clues and exceptional love of table tennis. Host Ophira Eisenberg discovers that Shortz owns a crossword puzzle suit, which we hope to see him wear outside his home one day.

Since Shortz is a puzzle legend, we felt wrong about pitting him against a contestant of the civilian sort. So for Shortz’ Ask Me Another Challenge, we call upon our own puzzle guru, John Chaneski, to step up to the mat for a game called “Aging Gopher Maracas” — otherwise known as “Geographic Anagrams.” The competition heats up as the puzzle grasshopper takes on his puzzle master, but all bets are off in this word-twisting trivia match.

About Will Shortz

Will Shortz has been the puzzle master for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday since the program’s start in 1987. He’s also the crossword editor of The New York Times, the former editor of Games magazine, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (since 1978).

Shortz sold his first puzzle professionally when he was 14 — to Venture, a denominational youth magazine. At 16 he became a regular contributor to Dell puzzle publications. He is the only person in the world to hold a college degree in Enigmatology, the study of puzzles, which he earned from Indiana University in 1974.

Born in 1952 and raised on an Arabian horse farm in Indiana, Shortz now lives near New York City in a Tudor-style house filled with books and Arts and Crafts furniture. When he’s not at work, he enjoys bicycling, movies, reading, travel, and collecting antique puzzle books and magazines.

Watch a clip of Shortz talking about his other love — ping pong — below. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

11PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 6AM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

View the program guide!

6AM to 7AM Travel with Rick Steves

Travel with Rick Steves

"Travel with Rick Steves" is a fun, hour-long, and practical talk show with guest experts and calls and questions from travelers. This weekly program is a lively conversation between travelers and the experts as we learn to explore our world smartly, smoothly, and thoughtfully.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center