Science Teacher’s Puzzle Published in The New York Times

From Classroom to Crossword

Nate Cardin, an upper school science teacher, recently showcased his knack for words in a place beyond the classroom. His crossword puzzle found its way into the pages of The New York Times on October 10 Puzzle. But how did he start his journey? Cardin started writing crosswords around 10 years ago, learning from former middle school mathematics teacher Mike Grier, who wrote crosswords. He enjoys creating themes and unexpected clues.

The submission process commenced in January, with confirmation arriving in April, a proof of Cardin’s patience and dedication. The publication transcended personal achievement as Cardin reveled in the joy of sharing his passion with friends, family, and the crossword community.

The exhilaration of having the puzzle featured in the paper was actually eclipsed by the delight of witnessing friends and family, including those unaccustomed to crosswords, engaging with the puzzle. It was heartwarming; the support was evident, and it seemed as though Cardin was ushering them into the captivating realm of crosswords. Their burgeoning interest further stoked his enthusiasm.

Cardin finds a unique joy in finding themes that stand out for their originality. “When I can come up with a good theme that feels interesting and unique, that feels good,” he shared. He also cherishes the opportunity to weave elements into his crosswords that aren’t typically seen, like modern slang and aspects that mirror his life.

The puzzle, adorned with a unique theme of double letters, resonated with enthusiasts, rendering a blend of intellectual challenge and communal engagement.

In the critique section of The New York Times, writer Sam Corbin praised the thematic brilliance of Cardin’s puzzle, particularly enchanted by the double letters theme unveiled in the last clue. Corbin found the puzzle to be a timely nudge, encouraging people to express their thoughts to loved ones.

Similarly, Aidan Deshong, a crossword writer, found enjoyment in Cardin’s latest puzzle. He commended the thematic richness encapsulated in a compact grid, a testament to Cardin’s skill and ingenuity in crossword crafting.

This accomplishment underscored the essence of intertwining personal passions with professional endeavors, epitomizing the profound satisfaction derived from sharing one’s niche interests with a broader audience. Through the lens of Cardin’s experience, this extends an invitation to embrace individual interests, fostering a culture of shared enthusiasm and lifelong learning.

Apple Joins the Crossword World

Apple Expands its Ecosystem with Puzzles, Podcasts, and News

Apple News+ Crossword Apple News Plus Crossword Puzzle

Apple, the tech giant associated with innovation, has ventured into the domains of puzzles and news with its well-known grace. Silently introduced within the Apple News app, there is a whole new section devoted to puzzles. It features a daily crossword puzzle and a daily mini-puzzle. 

Apple made a significant strategic move by forming a partnership with the Puzzle Society. They now have their experienced team in charge of creating and managing these crossword puzzles. Currently, they are working with well-known crossword artisans to elevate the overall puzzle experience.

A Piece of the Puzzle Pie

Apple’s entry into the world of puzzles is not a solitary endeavor. In a clear demonstration of Apple’s dedication to the art of crosswords, it has teamed up with the Puzzle Society, enlisting renowned crossword creators to curate and craft captivating puzzles. 

With a focus on accessibility, Ross Trudeau, Apple’s puzzles editor, emphasizes a departure from obscure references that might confound solvers. The aim is to make crosswords more inclusive, welcoming newcomers without intimidating them with esoteric terms.

Apple vs. The New York Times

Puzzles have taken center stage in The New York Times, contributing to increased user engagement and retention of their subscribers for their bundles. The intellectual nature of puzzles aligns seamlessly with the realm of news offerings. While Apple’s initial puzzle offerings consist of crosswords, the Times has recently introduced a new puzzle called “Connections,” which has garnered positive reception. If Apple’s crosswords find a receptive audience, additional puzzle genres may be included, too.

Potential for Expansion

While Apple’s initial puzzle offerings focus on crosswords, it remains to be seen whether the company will introduce additional puzzle formats. The Times recently launched a puzzle called “Connections,” which has garnered considerable interest. If Apple’s crosswords prove popular, the addition of other puzzle types seems plausible.

A Unified Content Experience

Apple has taken steps to bring its podcast app closer in alignment with Apple News, Apple Music, and other services. This includes incorporating shows from Apple Music’s radio stations into the podcast app, as well as featuring Apple News podcasts like “Apple News Today.”

Additionally, Apple News is set to launch a new podcast called “Apple News+ Narrated,” featuring professional voice actors narrating stories from Apple’s publishing partners.

Lauren Kern, Apple News’s editor-in-chief, expressed excitement about “Apple News+ Narrated”: “Now subscribers can enjoy narrated articles representing some of the best journalism from News+ publishers on Apple Podcasts as well as in Apple News.”

Third-Party Podcast Subscriptions

Recognizing the growing trend of publishers offering subscription-based podcasts, Apple is now facilitating the connection of third-party subscriptions to its podcast app. This means that users with subscriptions to services like Calm or The Washington Post can seamlessly integrate their subscriptions with the podcast app, granting access to subscription-only podcasts directly within the app.


Apple’s entry into the world of puzzles and the evolution of its podcast offerings prove the company’s commitment to delivering an array of captivating content within its ecosystem. By diving into new different services, they both challenge their established competitors and open the doors to innovation and engagement across their apps and services. So, whether you’re a crossword enthusiast or a podcast fan, Apple continues to evolve and expand their services to serve you better.

Google’s 25th Birthday Doodles you can Play

It’s Google’s 25th birthday and it is by far the most visited website in the world, serving as the preferred choice of search engine following the decline of Yahoo in the early 2010s.

Google the most visited search engine in the world. The go-to place where you can get almost any answer for all the questions you have is celebrating it’s 25th year of birth.Our most preferred search engine choice has come a long way since its inception in September of 1998.

How google looked like in 1998

Now owned by its parent company Alphabet and lead by Sundar Pichai it is ranked as one of the most valuable companies in the world. Slightly less valued than apple but far more valued than other big names such as Walmart, IBM etc

Google is so popular that in fact ‘Google it’ has become synonymous with ‘Search it’ and it has been added in the dictionary of English language as such.  To celebrate this long history of success here are some Google games you can play Google for a short period of time.

    1. Crossword Puzzles: tried and tested through decades of popularity, crossword puzzles are a chilled out way to challenge your vocabulary knowledge and to expand your vernacular.


    1. Basketball 2012: this game was first released in 2012 and is pretty straightforward, the player simply has to shoot the ball into the basket to score as many points as possible before the time runs out.


    1. Pacman: Another classic involving our yellow friend looking to avoid being caught by ghosts, and occasionally even chasing after them himself.


    1. Halloween: is a halloween themed Doogle as you can imagine from the name it has. Since halloween season is coming this is a nice game to play. You are a cat fighting monsters.


    1. Coding: Coding is a perfect game even for kids who want to sharpen their logical thinking and serves as an educational game to learn some very basic tasks and coding skills.


Writers’ Strike Ends with New Contract, Actors Stand in Solidarity

The curtain has finally fallen on the 148-day writers’ strike in Hollywood. At the stroke of 12:01 AM today, a new contract marked the end of the labor dispute that had paralyzed the entertainment industry.

Hollywood producers, studios, and streaming platforms engaged in negotiations with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to bring a resolution to the 148-day strike. This past Sunday, private discussions unfolded between WGA’s negotiating committee and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), culminating in a tentative agreement.

A Unified Front

The strike, initially launched by the WGA in pursuit of enhanced benefits for its members, garnered additional support when actors from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined in on July 14. Their participation stemmed from concerns regarding the use of artificial intelligence and insufficient residual payments for work on streaming services.

Key Highlights of the Agreement

The details of the agreement, approved by members of the WGA’s East and West boards, are notable for several reasons:

1. Viewership-Based Residuals for Streaming Services

The agreement introduces a viewership-based residual system for streaming services, aligning compensation with the popularity of content.

2. Improved Residuals and Healthcare

It secures improved residuals and greater access to healthcare benefits for members, enhancing their overall well-being.

3. Protection Against AI-Generated Content

A significant provision ensures that artificial intelligence-generated content will not be recognized as source material, preserving the role of human creativity in the industry.

WGA officials have expressed confidence that these developments will resonate positively with all union members.

The Path Forward

The next pivotal step in this journey is the ratification vote among WGA members, scheduled for October 2-9. While the strikes remain temporarily suspended, if the contract fails to achieve unanimous approval, the strikes may resume. During the ratification process, all members are encouraged to return to work, contributing to a sense of normalcy within the industry.

SAG-AFTRA, while yet to reach an agreement with the AMPTP, stands in solidarity with its sister union, celebrating their success and emphasizing their involvement in finalizing the AMPTP’s contract.

Impact on the Entertainment Industry

The strikes have left a profound mark on the entertainment industry’s economic landscape, ranking as the most significant disruption since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York alone has witnessed the loss of 17,000 jobs.

Support Through Online Auctions

In an endeavor to support both strikes, members of SAG-AFTRA have taken to organizing online auctions. These auctions feature a range of activities and memorabilia, with proceeds directed toward crew members who have been unable to work due to the strikes.

Notable offerings include a dinner with Bob Odenkirk and comedian David Cross, a chance to have Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott walk one’s dog, or an opportunity to tackle the New York Times crossword with Natasha Lyonne of Orange is the New Black fame.

Despite the tentative deal between WGA and AMPTP, these auctions continue unabated, as they remain a vital source of support for industry professionals affected by the strikes.

A Labor Movement in Unity

The Union Solidarity Coalition, the driving force behind the fundraising effort, underscores the importance of mutual support during this national labor crisis. The coalition encourages individuals to come together and explore innovative ways to aid one another in the face of unprecedented challenges.

The resolution of the writers’ strike and the ongoing negotiations with SAG-AFTRA signal a transformative period in the entertainment industry. As Hollywood looks toward the future, the solidarity and resilience of its members remain at the heart of its enduring spirit.

The end of the writers’ strike signifies a new chapter for the entertainment industry, marked by evolving agreements and collective efforts to navigate unprecedented challenges. The impact of these developments on Hollywood’s creative landscape will undoubtedly have an impact for years to come.