Will Shortz is sharp.
When asked what the title of his autobiography might be, he replied: Times Square.
If that pun falls a bit flat, you’re 1 of the 3 Westporters who haven’t at least tried the New York Times crossword puzzle.
The rest of the town flocked to the Westport Public Library last night to honor Will Shortz at the 12th annual Booked for the Evening celebration.
They were not disappointed.
After music by the Doughboys; a Shortz-themed crossword puzzle by Times constructor Patrick Merrell; introductions by Phil Donohue and library director Maxine Bleiweis (battling pneumonia), and praise from Bill Clinton (via letter), the Times crossword editor/NPR puzzlemeister/Indiana University enigmatology major took the stage.
He led an audience participation word game whose rules are too complex to repeat here. The key point is that — after some solid brain-twisting — the answer emerged: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
If I was half as clever as Will Shortz, I’d be a very happy man.