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Neil deGrasse Tyson author page

1 puzzle by Neil deGrasse Tyson
with Constructor comments

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Puzzles constructed by Neil deGrasse Tyson by year
POW Mon 3/20/2017

ACME: Neil and I met almost 40 years ago in a galaxy far far away and have been friends for a long long time. We had already discussed doing a puzzle together when Will broached the idea of pairing a megastar (pun intended!) with a mere mortal.

Neil participated in every aspect, from theme generation to input on fill and cluing, despite his very tight schedule ... he really is in another stratosphere these days!

(The original theme seed was YOUCANTBESIRIUS (15!), followed by PLANETOFTHEAPUS, a bird-of-paradise constellation no one has ever heard of!)

Neil and I went through dozens of astropuns and Will and Joel were the final arbiters, even adding LITTLEDIPPER. They were strict about getting us to tighten our focus on stars, specifically. Smooth sailing, despite a little "discussion" as to whether HEAVENLYBODY clued as a "hottie" was sexist or not ... and my stubbornness of wanting DWARFPLANET ("Where Doc and Dopey hail from?") as a poke at Neil, who was responsible for demoting PLUTO, much to the horror of third graders everywhere.

Neil is an energetic, indefatigable, humorous, brilliant educator who wants to highlight Science in many forms ... whether hosting "Cosmos" or joining forces with his old college buddy to create a little Monday puzzle!

NEIL: I suppose a good puzzle clue is one where some people know the answer outright, while other people know they should know the answer but don't, leaving the rest to feel guilty for being clueless about the clue itself. Of course, politics, literature, entertainment, and pop culture, combined with nimble vocabulary, heavily feed these puzzles.

But as science rises in or culture, empowering us to become better shepherds of this world that we are borrowing from our descendants, we might expect to see science-inspired clues alongside the traditional ones. And maybe even occasional puzzle that's entirely science themed. In this spirit, I was delighted to work with one of the NYT's frequent contributors Andrea Carla Michaels, an old acquaintance from college, to bring some of the universe down to Earth — in this case, for a Monday Puzzle. As good a place as any to start.

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