Is It Possible To Make A ‘Fair’ Crossword Puzzle?

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Episode Notes

This week, host June Thomas talks to Anna Shechtman, a crossword puzzle creator whose new book is called The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle. In the interview, Anna talks about her experience writing crossword puzzles as a teenager and then going on to work with New York Times puzzle maker Will Shortz. She also discusses the subjectivity of “common knowledge” and recalls debates with Shortz about which words and phrases were puzzle-worthy.

After the interview, June and co-host Ronald Young Jr. talk more about crosswords and the ever-expanding pool of “common knowledge.”

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Anna shares how much crossword puzzle creators get paid. She also discusses a more sensitive topic: her struggle with anorexia, which coincided with her early interest in crossword puzzles.

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews.

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