Westport Library's 12th annual fundraiser, "Booked for the Evening," on May 27, honors Will Shortz, puzzle editor of the New York Times. TV personality Phil Donahue is the evening's Master of Ceremonies. Westport Library tapped Shortz because his work "reflects the purpose of the Library--to nurture the love of learning and to enhance our understanding of the world." Past honorees include Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Oscar Hijuelos, and Adam Gopnik.
Shortz was on the young side when his path to puzzlemaster began. At 14, he sold one of his puzzles and by 16, he was regularly contributing to Dell's puzzle books. According to NPR, he is the only person in the world to hold a degree in Enigmatology, the study of puzzles. He received this degree from Indiana University in 1974. Besides The New York Times, Shortz contributes to NPR, and is the former editor of Games magazine. Since 1979, he's also been a director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which he founded. Working on crossword puzzles is often cited as the way to keep our minds agile as we age. If it works, Shortz will outlive all of us. Tickets to Booked for the Evening, which starts at 7 p.m., begin at $175. For more information, visit The Westport Library's website.