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Will Shortz, Crossword Editor for “The New York Times”, Recovering from Stroke

Shortz, who's been the paper's crossword editor for more than 30 years, revealed that he’s in rehabilitation after suffering a stroke

<p>Randall Michelson/WireImage</p> Will Shortz, crossword editor for

Randall Michelson/WireImage

Will Shortz, crossword editor for 'The New York Times'
  • Will Shortz, the longtime crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times, is in rehabilitation following a stroke

  • Shortz has edited the crossword for more than 30 years, and also serves as Puzzlemaster for NPR

  • A rep for The New York Times says Shortz, 71, is "expected to [have] a full recovery"

The longtime crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times is in rehab following a stroke, he revealed this weekend.

Will Shortz, 71, who is also the Puzzlemaster for NPR, revealed his health struggle during an appearance at the end of the outlet’s Sunday Puzzle podcast, where he curates riddles for listeners.

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“I know our listeners have been wondering about Will, our beloved Puzzlemaster,” host Ayesha Rascoe said towards the end of the episode. “And before we go, I wanted to share a special message from the Puzzlemaster himself.”

“Hey guys, this is Will Shortz. Sorry I’ve been out the last few weeks,” he said in a recorded message. “I had a stroke on February 4, and have been in rehabilitation since then, but I am making progress. I’m looking forward to being back with new puzzles soon.”

<p>Bennett Raglin/Getty</p> Will Shortz, crossword editor for <em>The New York Times</em>

Bennett Raglin/Getty

Will Shortz, crossword editor for The New York Times

“A stroke can occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked or there is sudden bleeding in the brain,” according to the National Institute of Health, which points out that an ischemic stroke, which occurs from a blockage, accounts for just under 90% of strokes.

It was not revealed which type of stroke Shortz had, but as the Mayo Clinic points out, rehabilitation can range from exercises to improve motor skills to cognitive therapies.

Related: Brian Austin Green Says He Spent Over 4 Years Recovering from Stroke-Like Symptoms Caused By His Diet

Shortz has appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday since its debut in 1987, NBC News reports, and has been the crossword editor for the New York Times since 1993, celebrating his 30th anniversary last year.

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He’s only the fourth person to hold that job in the entire history of the New York Times, which first launched the famed crossword in 1941.

“When I was a kid, I imagined a life where I’d be sitting in an attic somewhere, making my little puzzles for $15 each, somehow surviving,” he told NYT in 2017. “I actually wrote a paper in eighth grade about what I wanted to do with my life, and it was to be a professional puzzle maker.”

<p>Craig Ruttle/Bloomberg/Getty</p> Will Shortz, crossword editor for the <em>New York Times</em>

Craig Ruttle/Bloomberg/Getty

Will Shortz, crossword editor for the New York Times

On Sunday's NPR episode, Rascoe continued, “We here at Weekend Edition, we love Will, and I know that everybody at home does, too. And we are rooting for him, and we are so hopeful and know that he will feel better soon.

Greg Pliska, The Puzzler podcast host who filled in for Shortz on this week’s episode, added, “I know I speak for the whole puzzling community in wishing Will the best. He's been a great friend to me for many years. And as much as I love playing the Puzzle on air with you, Ayesha, I look forward to getting to play from home with you and Will again in my Sunday morning pajamas.”

Related: Snoop Dogg's Daughter Cori, 24, Shares Warning Signs of Her 'Severe' Stroke: 'Listen to Your Body'

The New York Times said Shortz did not immediately respond to questions about when he can return to work, but a spokesman for the outlet said the newspaper had been in “regular contact” with him, and wished him “the best on his path to what is expected to be a full recovery.”

The rep added, “We look forward to having him back at work when he is ready.”

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