Those familiar with the New York Times daily crossword puzzle know that every day has a different level of difficulty.
Monday and Tuesday are easier. Thursday is known for unique clues and unusual tricks in the puzzle. Saturday is usually the hardest and Sunday is the biggest puzzle.
When Sheldon Polonsky, a local pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, selected his crossword as the Thursday puzzle, it was the culmination of months of work and overhaul.
“People take their crossword puzzles very seriously,” said Polonsky. “When they picked mine for Thursday because it was a bit more difficult, it was really exciting. It was fun and I’m really happy about it. “
He recently published another crossword puzzle entitled “Marquee Matchups” in the Wall Street Journal on May 29th.
Polonsky is a lifelong puzzle and logic game lover who recently got caught in the New York Times crossword puzzle after his daughter suggested downloading the app. After reading the comments under the Daily Riddles, he learned that anyone could submit one.
“I said that sounds cool and I wanted to try,” he said. “I had a lot of ideas”
Initially, he said he received “denial after denial” not because the puzzles were bad, but often because of the sheer volume of other puzzles that were also submitted to the newspaper. Polonsky revised his puzzles, changed the subject here or a hint there, until an editor turned to him with interest.
Polonsky and the New York Times crossword editor worked together to add ideas and change some pointers until it could finally be published on June 10th.
The subject of the crossword puzzle? The last word of every phrase, which normally ends in the “-air” or “-airs” sound, has been changed to the “-or” or “-ors” sound, according to his notes in the New York Times.
The answer to one of the clues – 25A – was: “Polishing the chandelier in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and washing the uniforms in ‘Hamilton’?” “Musical housework” instead of “musical chairs”.
“Designers come from all walks of life, as do solvers,” wrote New York Times crossword columnist Deb Amlen of Polonsky’s puzzles. “You certainly don’t have to have studied English to notice or enjoy the peculiarities of our language. In detail, the only thing that published constructors all have in common is persistence. You don’t give up so easily. “
With all his recent success, Polonsky hopes to continue constructing and submitting puzzles in the future.
“There are some that I work on, but ideas come a little slower,” he said. “But I’ll keep working on it until I run out of ideas.”