Rex Parker is a well-known name in the world of crossword puzzles. He is a blogger who writes about the daily New York Times crossword puzzles, providing commentary, critiques, and sometimes even solutions. His blog has gained a large following over the years, and his opinions and insights are highly respected in the crossword community.
Rex Parker, whose real name is Michael Sharp, was born in 1972 in Syracuse, New York. He grew up in the nearby town of Fayetteville and attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School, where he was known for his academic excellence. He later went on to attend Yale University, where he majored in English.
Parker first became interested in crossword puzzles as a child, solving puzzles with his father at the kitchen table. He later discovered the New York Times crossword puzzle and became hooked. After college, he began working as a freelance writer and editor, but his passion for crossword puzzles remained strong.
The Birth of the Rex Parker Blog
In 2006, Parker started his blog, Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle. He began by posting daily critiques of the New York Times crossword puzzle, providing his thoughts on the puzzle’s difficulty, theme, and overall quality. He also began to engage with his readers, encouraging them to share their own thoughts and opinions in the comments section.
As Parker’s blog grew in popularity, he began to attract the attention of the crossword community. He was interviewed by The New York Times and appeared on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. He was also invited to be a guest blogger for The New York Times’ crossword blog, Wordplay.
Rex Parker Controversies and Criticisms
Parker’s blog is known for its honest and sometimes controversial commentary. He has not shied away from criticizing puzzles that he feels are poorly constructed or uninspired. He has also been vocal about issues of representation and inclusivity in crossword puzzles.
One of Parker’s most notable controversies came in 2017, when he publicly criticized a puzzle by Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword. The puzzle included the clue “Decidedly non-feminist women’s group,” with the answer being “HAREM.” Parker and many others felt that the clue was sexist and offensive. Shortz ultimately issued an apology, and the controversy sparked a larger conversation about sexism and racism in crossword puzzles.
Parker has also been criticized by some in the crossword community for his often acerbic tone and harsh critiques. Some have accused him of being too negative and not giving enough credit to the many talented constructors who create puzzles for the New York Times and other publications.
The Legacy of Rex Parker
Love him or hate him, there is no denying that Rex Parker has had a significant impact on the world of crossword puzzles. His blog has become an essential resource for crossword enthusiasts, providing a space for thoughtful discussion and critique.
Parker’s influence can be seen in the increasing attention paid to issues of diversity and representation in crossword puzzles. Many constructors now strive to create puzzles that are more inclusive and representative of a wider range of experiences and perspectives.
Ultimately, Rex Parker’s legacy will be one of honesty and integrity. He has never been afraid to speak his mind, even when it has been unpopular or controversial. And in doing so, he has helped to create a community that values thoughtful discussion and constructive criticism.
Aside from his critiques, Rex Parker’s blog also offers crossword enthusiasts a chance to engage with each other through the comment section. The community of readers and commenters on his blog is known for being friendly and supportive, and many people have found friendship and camaraderie through the blog.
Parker’s blog has also served as a platform for up-and-coming constructors to get noticed. He often features puzzles by new and emerging constructors, providing them with valuable exposure and feedback. This has helped to foster a new generation of crossword constructors, who are bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas to the world of crossword puzzles.
While some have criticized Parker for his negativity, others see his honesty and bluntness as a refreshing change from the overly polite and guarded world of crossword puzzles. His willingness to speak his mind and hold constructors and editors accountable has helped to raise the bar for crossword puzzles across the board.
As for the future of Rex Parker’s blog, it seems likely that he will continue to be a prominent voice in the crossword community for many years to come. While the world of crossword puzzles may be constantly evolving, the need for thoughtful and insightful commentary will always remain.
In conclusion, Rex Parker is a unique and influential figure in the world of crossword puzzles. His blog has become a go-to resource for crossword enthusiasts, providing a space for discussion, critique, and community. While he has been the subject of controversy and criticism, there is no denying the impact that he has had on the world of crossword puzzles. Whether you love him or hate him, Rex Parker has left his mark on the crossword world, and his legacy will continue to shape it for years to come.