“There’s one thing I want in life: I want to be a clue in The New York Times crossword puzzle,” reveals THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS’ Peter Bergman (Jack). “I’m a crossword nut. I did The New York Times puzzles for 10 years before I moved to Los Angeles (in 1989), and I’ve done the L.A. Times and the Sunday New York Times forever.”
“Forever” means almost 30 years now, and the puzzle buff might go so far as to call himself a pro…had he not seen the documentary Wordplay, that is. The film — which explores the notoriously difficult New York Times crosswords, the puzzlers who live to solve them, and Will Shortz, the editor who creates them — left Bergman floored.
“They have a number of characters who time themselves when they do The New York Times crossword, which is how I cut my teeth,” Bergman relates. “Friday and Saturday are the hardest puzzles, and these guys were doing the Friday New York Times in four minutes — finishing it! I don’t know how they do it.”
Never one to turn down a challenge, Bergman put himself to the test. “After I saw the movie, I had a Tuesday L.A. Times, and timed myself in my dressing room,” he sets up. “I’m pretty good at this, and it’s an easier puzzle than the Friday New York Times, and it took me 16 minutes. I suppose I should be proud of that, but having seen the movie — pffft.”
Hey, we’re impressed!