Friday, February 29, 2008

Thinking Inside the Box

Greetings from American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in New York City, where Grant and I will be presenting awards after the finals this year. We're having a fine old time, as is everyone else here. And after trying a few brain-busting puzzles this evening, I have a world of respect for what these die-hard cruciverbalists manage to accomplish!

Here we are with New York Times crossword puzzle editor and NPR Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. (Note how puzzled I look already.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Bloody Origin of "Shambles"

Chicago Tribune language columnist Nathan Bierma writes about the curious word "shambles."
Its etymology is kind of grisly -- rather like that of dreary.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Correction of the Day

From the corrections section in London's Guardian newspaper on Feb. 6, 2008:
Whether the romance of the French president and Carla Bruni was very pubic only they can say. We meant to say it was very public (Sarkozy marries royally with Versailles wedding night, page 15, February 4).

Monday, February 04, 2008

Calling All Cruciverbalists

As NPR Puzzlemaster and New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz mentioned yesterday on NPR's "Weekend Edition," my co-host Grant Barrett and I will be appearing at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, the nation's oldest and largest crossword competition. If you're going to be there, please do make a point of saying hello! We also look forward to hanging out with the "A Way with Words" Puzzle Guys, Greg Pliska and John Chaneski.

And of course, to psych myself up, I'm watching the entertaining movie "Wordplay" all over again. (I'm also looking forward to seeing Grant, who will be providing the color commentary during this year's finals, all gussied up with the same kind of crossword-puzzle cravat that Neal Conan sports in the film).