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The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Science teacher publishes crossword in New York Times

Science+Teacher+Nate+Cardin+published+a+crossword+in+the+New+York+Times+on+Oct.+10.
Printed with permission of Nate Cardin
Science Teacher Nate Cardin published a crossword in the New York Times on Oct. 10.

Upper School Science Teacher Nate Cardin published a crossword in the New York Times on Oct. 10. Cardin previously had one other puzzle run in the paper.

Cardin submitted the crossword in January, and received confirmation in April that it would be published. He said his favorite part of having the puzzle posted in the New York Times was being able to share his passion with those around him.

“Much more exciting than the puzzle being in the paper was having all of my friends and family solving the puzzle, especially people who don’t normally solve crossword puzzles,” Cardin said. “It was a nice little moment that way, both in terms of them supporting me, [and] I kind of feel like I’m a siren, beckoning people with the crosswords. The more people that get into it, the more excited I am.”

Cardin said he started writing crosswords around 10 years ago, learning from Former Middle School Mathematics Teacher Mike Grier who wrote crosswords. He said he enjoys creating themes and unexpected clues.

“When I can come up with a good theme that feels interesting and unique, that feels good,” Cardin said. “I also like when I can fit things into crosswords that you don’t always see in crosswords, [like] modern slang and things that feel like they are relevant to my life.”

In the New York Times’s crossword column, writer Sam Corbin said she appreciated Cardin’s puzzle’s theme. The theme of the crossword was double letters, which was revealed by the last clue: “Affectionate sign-off… or a pattern hinting at the starts of the answers to the six starred clues.”

“I think [the crossword is] a wonderfully timed reminder of how to let people know you’re thinking of them,” Corbin said. “This puzzle’s deft theme set had me smiling all the way through, and there’s a final reveal that I can promise you doesn’t feel like a kiss-off.”

Aidan Deshong ’24, a crossword writer and aficionado, said he enjoyed solving Cardin’s latest puzzle.

“I thought it was good,” Deshong said. “He basically put a lot of themed stuff in a very tight grid, and he pulled it off pretty well. I’m impressed.”

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