Solving Crossword Puzzles
Francis Heaney and Stella Daily Zawistowski duke it out every year for the title of Brooklyn’s fastest crossword solver, and Francis usually wins (he has five top-ten finishes at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament to Stella’s two). Either of them is capable of solving the New York Times Sunday puzzle in well under 10 minutes.
Francis makes and edits puzzles for a living, whereas Stella has sold out and works as a copywriter in pharmaceutical advertising. Their love of trivia and wordplay is apparent—Francis is the author of Holy Tango of Literature, a book of punny poetry, and Stella appeared on Jeopardy! in 2006.
Crossword Puzzles: They’re a source of delicious frustration. Or maybe just frustration. How on earth does “Mental picture, for short” equal “EEG”? Why do they think I care so much about Elia Kazan and the Oreo cookie?
In this class, two of Brooklyn’s fastest solvers—both have placed in the top ten at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament—will help you find your way around that black-and-white grid. You’ll learn how to interpret clues (you’ll never believe how much information can be crammed into five words or less!), how themes can help you solve, and how to find those nasty traps crossword puzzlemakers love to set for unsuspecting solvers. At the end of the class, we’ll turn you loose with a partner to practice your newfound solving skills.
Bring a pencil with an eraser and get ready to train your brain!