Are computers killing crossword puzzles?
Another sign of the times! According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures, twice as many Americans now play computer games as do crossword puzzles.
But don't underestimate crossword fans. As Steve Kroft reported in this 2003 "60 Minutes" story, millions of Americans can't start their day without taking on "the crossword." It's an addiction as strong as morning coffee and has been that way since the puzzles started showing up in newspapers in the early 20th century.
The toughest puzzles of them all are said to be on the pages of the New York Times, where Will Shortz has presided as puzzle master and editor since 1993. His name is on every puzzle, and readers who tackle the puzzle often see themselves in a contest of wits with Shortz himself.
Shortz loves the challenge and is unapologetic about his penchant for tough, even sneaky clues. He tells Kroft, "I use every misleading opportunity I can" to trick readers.
One famous example: a three letter answer to the clue "Notable tower." If you read that as a building or prominent obelisk, then you fell right into the trap and made Shortz's day. If you read it as the company you call when your car breaks down --"AAA"(they tow cars) -- then you got it.
Before you watch this Overtime Rewind, see if you can solve this clue on your own: four letters for "stick in the fridge."
If you never tried to solve a Will Shortz crossword puzzle, here's some advice: start on the Monday puzzle. That's the easiest day. They get more difficult as the week goes on. Saturdays are known to be the hardest, and Sunday's are the most time-consuming, if not all-consuming. Once you catch the habit, you'll be doing them in pen.
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