In this episode Kim talks to Adrienne Raphel about crossword puzzles.
For lots more about crosswords, check out Adrienne’s book Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them (Penguin Random House, 2021)
For some of the historical puzzles she mentions in the episode, Adrienne recommends The Curious History of the Crossword: 100 Puzzles from Then and Now by Ben Tausig.
If you’re inspired to start doing crosswords and looking for some guidance, she suggests the New York Times guide: “How to Solve The New York Times Crossword.”
For more on cryptic crosswords, check out Stephen Sondheim’s article “How to Do a Real Crossword Puzzle.” New York Magazine (April 1968). Also on cryptics, Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon’s book The Random House Guide to Cryptic Crosswords (Random House, 2003) is out of print but very good. And the crossword blog in The Guardian has lots of cryptic crosswords too.
Adrienne is a poet, scholar, and lecturer in the Princeton writing program. She has a super cool web site with links to all the other amazing things she’s written!
Our cover photo shows the stage set from Puzzles of 1925, a crossword musical! The digital image is from the White Studio Theatrical Photography Collection at the New York Public Library.