Will Shortz: Why I said yes to a crossword magic trick live at TED

Mastermind

TED Blog

Crossword-main March 18, 2014 crossword courtesy of The New York Times.

Today on stage at TED2014 magician and puzzler David Kwong blew minds when he pulled an audience member onstage, asked her to color in a few animals, and then revealed he was so sure he could predict her behavior that he had her choices written into the day’s New York Times crossword. Hm: What’s a seven-letter word for boldness? Not only did Kwong need to be extremely sure of himself before his performance, but he also needed to convince the Editor of the New York Times crossword, the King Cruciverbalist himself, Will Shortz, to run the puzzle.

Shortz is no stranger to crossword stunts: His most famous appeared in the 1996 Election Day crossword, in which either BOB DOLE or CLINTON could work as the answer to the clue “Lead story in tomorrow’s newspaper (!), with…

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