David Steinberg was only 14 and just finishing Lakeside Middle School in Seattle when his first crossword was published by The New York Times, making him the then second-youngest constructor to be published during Will Shortz’s editorship.
Since bursting onto the crossword scene in 2011, he has published more than 450 puzzles in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other major markets. At the age of 15, David was hired by Spokesman-Review editor Rob Curley, then of The Orange County Register, as crossword editor of the Register’s associated newspapers. After five years with the Register, in 2017 David became editor of The Puzzle Society Crossword, a daily nationally syndicated feature for Andrews McMeel Universal. (See page 5 for The Puzzle Society Crossword puzzle edited by Steinberg.)
Steinberg has spoken to audiences across North America about crossword puzzles and his crossword activities. He is a senior at Stanford University and in his spare time attends as many puzzle events as possible. He has fond memories of his four years as a Washington State resident and of visiting Spokane on family trips to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Glacier National Park.
Steinberg’s contribution (below) to our Puzzle Special Section has a decidedly Spokane-area flavor.
“When I heard that The Spokesman-Review wanted a Washington-themed puzzle, my mind went in many directions,” Steinberg told The Spokesman-Review. “Washington is a big state with many interesting theme possibilities. I considered doing something with agriculture, notable landmarks, or rain (though it doesn’t rain as much in the Spokane area!), but ultimately settled on Washington’s borders as a topic, because I liked how I’d be able to incorporate wordplay rather than just listing things about the state of Washington.”
In December 2012, Steinberg was named Person of the Year on XWord Info, which recognizes “remarkable contributors to crosswords.”
In June 2013, Steinberg collaborated with veteran New York Times constructor Bernice Gordon on a puzzle that was historic because of their 83-year age difference. At 99, Gordon was the oldest currently publishing New York Times crossword constructor; at 16, Steinberg was the youngest.
Steinberg’s respect for the history of puzzle games is evident in his work. He is the founder and director of The Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project, a collaborative effort to build a digitized, fully analyzable database of New York Times crosswords published from February 15, 1942, to November 20, 1993.
In October 2017, Steinberg became editor of The Puzzle Society Crossword, a daily nationally syndicated feature published by Andrews McMeel Universal.
To learn more about David, visit his website at www.davidsteinbergcrosswords.com; to solve some of his puzzles, see his Juicy Crosswords from The Orange County Register (Sterling Publishing/Puzzlewright Press, 2016) and Chromatics (Puzzazz, 2012).