Will Shortz Names His Favorite Crossword Puzzle Ever

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Dec. 4 2013 2:27 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Eat My Shortz” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on HBO’s Getting On, the saga of “Diane in 7A,” and the crossword puzzles with Will Shortz.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 272 with Stephen Metcalf, John Swansburg, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Getting On, a new HBO comedy set on an extended care hospital wing.  Do the show’s representation of the elderly pose a departure from the bumbling, slapstick seniors of network TV? Next, the gabbers discuss one’s right to privacy in the Twitter age. Inspired by the faux Twitter feud between Elan Gale, a producer of The Bachelor, and “Diane,” an anonymous—and perhaps apocryphal—passenger on Gale’s Thanksgiving flight, the critics wonder: Should all our public experiences be open to Twitter-criticism? And finally, the Gabfest welcomes Will Shortz, editor of the New York Times crossword, to celebrate the puzzle’s 100-year history. Guard your ulnae and hide your etui. The critics get Shortz’s take on crosswordese.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:

Endorsements:

John: The New York Times acrostic puzzle, constructed by Henry Rathvon and Emily Cox every other Sunday

Julia: “Let Me Roll It” by Paul McCartney & Wings

Steve: The rock duo Best Coast, the redware pottery of Lauren Mundy, and the late Peter Kaplan, celebrated editor of The New York Observer. (Julia flagged John Homans’ obit as worth reading.)

Outro: “Let Me Roll It” by Paul McCartney & Wings

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

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Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.

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