Puzzled? Will Shortz Shares His Ideas on Enigmatology

Will Shortz, puzzle editor for the New York Times, is about to speak here at Idea Festival 2008. He's the puzzle master for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, and the only person to hold a degree in Enigmatology… the study of puzzles.  The event description promises a "rollicking journey into the world of puzzles and the minds that design and solve them."

While we are waiting, I am Michael Schnuerle, new to blogging at the Idea Festival. This is my first post, and I'll have two more, one on Friday, one on Saturday.  They will cover the BIG: Designs on the Future City and Serious Play events. Normally I run the local site www.metromapper.org.

I've always had an interest in puzzles since I was a child. I remember once when I was 6 my dad giving me a little physics problem, scrawled on scrap paper with a pencil.  It had to do with a 6 ton truck crashing head-first into a 2 ton car at 30 miles per hour. The question was how fast the car had to be moving so the two vehicles would come to a dead stop. I think to his surprise, I blurted out 90 mph without really knowing how I got that answer. But a love of puzzles was born.