PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- In his hometown of Pleasantville, where he has lived for 20 years, Will Shortz is anything but just another telecommuter and small business owner.
He is famous among word game aficionados as the fourth crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times. People put a face to the name after the 2006 documentary "Wordplay" about the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which he directs. And for fans of table tennis, Shortz is known for opening the largest table tennis facility in the country — in Pleasantville — in May 2011.
Shortz, 60, graduated from Indiana University in 1974 as the only person ever to earn a degree in enigmatology, the study of puzzles. He has written or edited more than 500 puzzle books and owns more than 25,000 puzzle books and magazines dating to 1533, the world's largest private library on the subject.
In his own words, here are his Five Favorite Things about Pleasantville:
- Jacob Burns Film Center: Probably on every Pleasantville resident's "favorites" list. Just three blocks from my house, too.
- That we're a "walking village:" I can walk to the train, post office, restaurants, Village Bookstore and basically anywhere. Everything is within easy distance.
- Pleasantville Diner: I can't count the number of out-of-town friends I've taken there.
- Jean-Jacques restaurant: The croque monsieur is my favorite order. No matter how many other things I try, I keep coming back to that.
- Westchester Table Tennis Center: Of course, my hangout almost every night and weekend.