A Trivial Pursuit

Radio host — and crossword constructor — Gary Cee tests our local knowledge with this Valley-themed puzzle



(page 1 of 2)

Finding himself with some free time on his hands last year, Dutchess County resident Gary Cee took to constructing crossword puzzles as a hobby. But Cee — the program director and afternoon host at rock radio station 101.5 WPDH-FM — readily admits that what started as an innocent pastime has now morphed into something much more serious. “I’m completely obsessed,” he says.

Of course it was the Holy Grail of crossword puzzles — the ones in the New York Times — that first intrigued Cee. “I do them from Monday through Thursday. After that, I give up,” he says. Last year, he started constructing puzzles and submitting them to the newspaper. “You get a theme and you try to make it fit and then you write the clues,” he says. “It’s a great combination of word play and trivia. It’s just a whole lot of fun.”

Gary Cee: Rock 'n' roller; WPDH drive-at-fiver; and now, crossword puzzler

But Times puzzle editor Will Shortz wouldn’t bite. “Sometimes they’ll say, ‘The theme has been done before,’ and other times the rejection is as simple as ‘Will just couldn’t get excited over this one.’ What can you say about that?”

But Cee’s luck is changing; his first puzzle has been accepted by the Times (it’s about sayings that end with the word “please,” and will appear in early 2009). And the wordsmith “had great fun” constructing this puzzle, whose theme is our own Hudson Valley. “I started with a master list, and knew that I needed to appeal to all corners of the Valley,” he says. And although he’s pleased with the final product, he acknowledges that sometimes the puzzling life can be a real brainteaser. “I tried so hard to get in Jacqueline Bouvier as Vassar’s most famous ex-student,” he says, “but I couldn’t get her to fit.”

Puzzler Prize

Think you know all about the Valley? Complete Cee’s puzzle, and mail it to Hudson Valley Magazine, ATT: Puzzle, 2678 South Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. All correct entries postmarked by November 10 will be entered in a raffle; we’ll choose one lucky puzzler to receive a small prize. Answers will appear on our Web site after November 10, and in our December issue. Good luck!

(See next page for puzzle)

 

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