Riverdale rising senior Garrett Chalfin has placed an original crossword puzzle he created with the New York Times. According to the Times, he is only the 59th puzzle creator to debut in his teens. Garrett has submitted 17 puzzles to the paper and this is his first to be published. Puzzle authors are a select group: the Times receives over 200 puzzles each week and accepts only seven.
Garrett is the second member of the Riverdale community to place a crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Middle and Upper School English teacher Andrew Kingsley has placed 19 puzzles in the Times over the past six years.
Rachel Fabi, Ph.D., a writer of the Times’ Wordplay Column, found Garrett’s puzzle to be perhaps “a tad trickier than your typical Monday puzzle.” Dr. Fabi compliments several of Garrett’s clues in her column.
Garrett says, “I enjoy constructing crosswords because each element of puzzle-making works my brain in a fun and disparate way. Coming up with a theme requires creativity. Designing and filling the grid requires problem-solving and cost/benefit analysis. Writing the clues requires research and wit. The unique challenges each puzzle presents in those three areas keep crossword constructing novel and engaging for me.”
Congratulations, Garrett, on this accomplishment. Garrett’s puzzle can be seen and solved in the August 1st edition of the New York Times.