David Steinberg (crossword editor)

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David Steinberg
David Steinberg.jpg
Born 1996 (age 21–22)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Crossword constructor and editor

David Steinberg (born in 1996) is a crossword constructor and editor. At 14, he became the then second-youngest person to publish a crossword in The New York Times during Will Shortz's editorship.[1][2][3][4] At 15, he became the youngest published constructor in the Los Angeles Times and the youngest known crossword editor ever for a major newspaper (Orange County Register).[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Steinberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in California and Washington.[6] In middle school, he was introduced to The New York Times crossword puzzle by his parents[7] and, after seeing Merl Reagle build a puzzle in the movie Wordplay, began constructing.[6] He attended Turtle Rock Elementary School in Irvine, California,[6] the Lakeside School in Seattle,[6] and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School.[6] He attends Stanford University.[8]

Puzzle career[edit]

Steinberg's first crossword publication was in The New York Times on June 16, 2011.[9] Since then he has published more than 400 puzzles in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsday, Orange County Register, Fireball Crosswords, Daily Celebrity Crossword, the American Values Club Crossword, BuzzFeed, 10-4 Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, and books. [10] One of his puzzles was selected for Twenty Under Thirty, and another appeared in The American Red Crossword Book.

In June 2012, he founded the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project,[11] a collaborative effort to build a digitized, fully analyzable database of The New York Times crossword puzzles published before Will Shortz became editor. Steinberg directs the project, which was an outgrowth of a project he conducted for a science research course while a freshman in high school.

An e-book with 25 crosswords by Steinberg, Chromatics, was published in September 2012. Two months later, he was made crossword editor of the Orange County Register's 24 weekly associated newspapers. This puzzle feature expanded into the Riverside County Press-Enterprise and the now-defunct Los Angeles Register associated newspapers.

In December 2012, Steinberg was named Person of the Year on XWord Info, which recognizes "remarkable contributors to crosswords."[12]

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.[13]

In 2013, Steinberg was the most prolific New York Times constructor, published a total of 15 times that year.[14]

Juicy Crosswords, a book containing crosswords Steinberg edited for the Orange County Register, was published by Sterling Publishing in 2016.

In October 2017, Steinberg became editor of The Puzzle Society Crossword, a daily nationally syndicated feature published by Andrews McMeel Universal.[15]


  1. ^ Amlen, Deb. "Thursday: Let Off Some Steam". Wordplay: The Crossword Blog of The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Ratliff, Pat (30 June 2011). "Edmonds Puzzler Receives New York Times Honor". Edmonds Beacon. 
  3. ^ O'Harran, Kristi (1 August 2011). "Edmonds Teen Puzzles New York Times Readers with His Crossword Clues". The Herald. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Hahn, Elisa. "Edmonds Teen Builds Crossword Puzzles for New York Times". 2 August 2011. KING5.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Steinberg, David. "Want to submit a puzzle? Here are the guidelines". 4 December 2012. Orange County Register. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Basheda, Lori (10 October 2012). "Teen crossword whiz helps New York Times". Orange County Register. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  7. ^ http://www.dailybreeze.com/social-affairs/20121027/crossword-puzzles-come-easy-to-palos-verdes-peninsula-high-student
  8. ^ https://medium.com/stanford-magazine/precocious-puzzles-fd776d53f9b0
  9. ^ https://www.xwordinfo.com/Crossword?date=6/16/2011
  10. ^ http://www.customcrossword.com/p/about-me.html
  11. ^ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/crossword-374303-puzzle-david.html
  12. ^ Horne, Jim. "Notable Puzzles of 2012". 31 December 2012. XWord Info. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Smith, Sarah. "Puzzling collaboration has Phila. connection". 26 June 2013. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Authors by year". XWord Info. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  15. ^ http://syndication.andrewsmcmeel.com/puzzles/the-puzzle-society-crossword

External links[edit]