For crossword enthusiasts, the name Rex Parker is likely a familiar one. As the author of the widely-read blog “Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle,” Parker has become something of a household name in the crossword world. But who is Rex Parker, and what drives him to write about the daily crossword puzzle?
Early Life and Education:
Rex Parker, whose real name is Michael Sharp, was born and raised in Indiana. He attended college at Northwestern University, where he earned a degree in English literature. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he worked as an editor for several publishing companies.
The Birth of “Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle”: Parker started the blog “Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle” in 2006 as a way to document his experiences solving the daily crossword puzzle in The New York Times. He quickly gained a following, thanks to his humorous and irreverent writing style and his willingness to critique the puzzles themselves.
The Blog’s Format and Content:
The blog’s format is simple: Parker posts his thoughts on the daily crossword puzzle each day, along with a screenshot of his completed grid. He often includes comments on the clues and answers he found particularly clever or challenging, as well as criticism of those that he felt were lacking. He also occasionally delves into other crossword-related topics, such as interviews with other crossword constructors or discussions of crossword tournament culture.
Controversies and Criticisms:
Despite his popularity, Parker has not been immune to criticism. Some readers have accused him of being overly negative or dismissive of certain puzzles, while others have criticized his occasional use of profanity. Parker himself has acknowledged these criticisms, but has maintained that his approach is simply a reflection of his personality and writing style.
Personal Life and Hobbies:
Outside of his crossword-related activities, Parker is a father of two and a self-professed “film nerd.” He has also been known to dabble in other puzzle-related hobbies, such as logic puzzles and Sudoku.
Rex Parker has become a fixture in the crossword world, thanks to his engaging writing style and his willingness to speak his mind about the puzzles he solves. While he has certainly courted controversy along the way, there’s no denying the impact he has had on the way we think about crossword puzzles and the people who solve them.