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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Ben Pall Interns with Puzzle Master Will Shortz

New Jersey Star-Ledger, October 5, 2012

Ben Pall was five weeks into his engineering program at Summer College when he learned that puzzle master Will Shortz wanted Ben to intern with him upon his return home.

Ben—who had his fourth crossword puzzle published in The New York Times in September—holds the record for youngest crossword contributor to the Times during Shortz's editorship. Ben's first puzzle was published in the Times in November 2009, when Ben was just fourteen years old.

"I've known Will for a few years and had expressed interest in working with him in the past," writes Ben, who was thrilled to accept the offer. For the rest of the summer, Ben commuted from New Jersey to Shortz's home in Westchester three times a week.

"I've thought since then that if crossword construction is behind-the-scenes, then crossword editing is behind-behind-the-scenes. I got an amazing look into what it's like. Basically, I helped Will edit crosswords, laid out newspaper pages, and typed up clues. It was an incredibly collaborative task. We also had a lot of time to chat and share our music tastes over lunch. It's something I can't wait to do again."


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