Where I Go: My New York Times Crossword Construction Quest

Getting a Sunday Puzzle Fit to Print Seemed Impossible Until I Did It

When I moved to northern New Jersey in 2012 and took a software test engineering job in midtown Manhattan, I suddenly found myself with an hour-long bus commute. I’d solved newspaper crossword puzzles sporadically for the preceding 15 years, but I had very little patience and wasn’t very good. So when I resumed my crosswording during those long trips, I was determined to become a better solver.

There’s a perception that in order to solve challenging crosswords, you have to be some sort of master of obscure facts, like a Jeopardy! …