Shortz, who has worked at the paper for more than two decades, welcomes new language and cultural references. Crossword puzzles should reflect the way vocabulary and culture change, he says. “I’m completely in favor, and I think I’m relatively up-to-date myself–from movies, wide reading, and other ways,” he told Fast Company. “Still, 61 (my age) is different from 23 (Anna’s), and Anna does come up with great clues that I would never think of myself.” Shechtman recently suggested cluing “shane” as The L Word role for Katherine Moennig, rather than in terms of the 1953 Alan Ladd western, which Shortz usually uses. Shechtman also helps him discern if a trendy word deserves inclusion. Amazeballs, for one, did not make the cut.
Hairpin pal Rebecca Greenfield profiled Anna Shechtman, the 23-year-old assistant to New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz. Shechtman was recently responsible for changing the clue for “bro” from “sister’s sib” to “Preppy, party-loving, egotistical male, in modern lingo.” Margaret Farrar would be proud. [Fast Company]