Crossword and puzzle expert and Indiana University Bloomington alumnus Will Shortz gives a public lecture titled "Sam Loyd: Puzzle King" at the Lilly Library. Sam Loyd, 1841-1911, was an American chess player, puzzle-maker and recreational mathematician who was widely acknowledged as one of America's great puzzle-writers and popularizers.
A native of Crawfordsville, Ind., Shortz graduated from the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Individualized Major Program in 1974 and is the holder of the world’s only college degree in enigmatology, the study of puzzles.
He has been puzzle master for NPR's “Weekend Edition Sunday” since 1987 and crossword editor of The New York Times since 1993. He is founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, held each year since 1978. He founded the World Puzzle Championship in 1992 and co-founded the World Puzzle Federation in 1999.
At The New York Times, he is credited with adding constructor bylines to crossword puzzles, making the puzzles harder each day of the week, and broadening cultural references to include movies, television and rock music.
Shortz received the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007, was the IU Bloomington spring commencement speaker in 2008 and received the IU Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the university’s highest honor for an alumnus or alumna, in 2014.