A New Jersey teen has become the youngest female to ever have one of her crossword puzzles published in the New York Times. Doing the puzzle every day is something I look forward to and I was pleased to see that the Feb. 1 puzzle was constructed by someone from our state, and was amazed to find out that she was only 17.

Her name is Soleil Saint-Cyr and she’s from Moorestown. According to an article in the Times, she says she started building puzzles during the pandemic as a way to kill time. She had been solving them for years and decided to try her hand at making one of her own. She told the Times, “Crossword puzzles have really been an awesome way for me to spend my free time when I’m not talking to friends, reading, playing lacrosse, or in class.”

The first week of February was “Black Constructors’ Week” in the Times in honor of Black History Month, and Soleil’s was the puzzle that kicked it off.

Soleil, who is a senior at the Lawrenceville School where she is both an honors student and class president, enlisted the help of crossword guru Ross Trudeau, who helped her construct her Times’ debut puzzle. The theme of her puzzle was “Hive Mind” with many of the clues revolving around bees. Soleil told the Philadelphia Inquirer she wasn’t trying to stump people, “I like making people feel like they’re smart, not like they don’t know anything.”

I look forward to trying to solve more of her puzzles in the future!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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