The puzzle master is coming to central Ohio.
New York Times crossword editor and NPR Sunday Puzzle host Will Shortz will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 in the auditorium at Grandview Heights High School, 1587 W. Third Ave.
Shortz's appearance is sponsored by the Grandview Heights Public Library Foundation.
Tickets are $30 and may be purchased via the library's website, www.ghpl.org, or at www.eventbrite.com.
Shortz has served as crossword editor at the New York Times since 1993 and is the author or editor of more than 500 puzzle books. (ThisWeek Community News publishes Times puzzles edited by Shortz.)
"People are so excited about this program," library foundation president Analisa Trares said. "He's such a familiar name and has such a big following. It's going to be a really cool evening."
As part of his program, Shortz will present a history of puzzles; talk about his background, including designing his own major program to earn a degree in "enigmatology" in 1974 at Indiana University; answer questions from the audience; and conduct an audience-participation segment, Trares said.
"We expect people will have a chance to try to solve some puzzles and quizzes he'll be offering," she said.
Shortz is the second high-profile author the library foundation has brought to Grandview this year.
In May, award-winning novelist Celeste Ng held a program at the high school.
"It was such a successful event -- a really wonderful chance to bring such a renowned writer to our community," Trares said. "We wanted to do another similar program. We brainstormed some possible authors at one of our board meetings and Will's name was suggested."
Ng's appearance included a preshow dinner at La Tavola in Grandview, near the high school.
"It was so nice to have a small, intimate dinner where she could go table to table and talk with each person and sign a book and take a picture with each one, and then we could just take a short walk to her program at the high school," Trares said.
Shortz's appearance will not include a dinner, but the foundation is working with his team and the high school to arrange activities with students during the day, she said.
"We're looking to hold an all-school assembly so he can talk to our entire student body and also schedule an activity where he can meet and interact with a smaller group of students who share an interest in the type of work he does," said Jamie Lusher, Grandview Heights Schools' chief academic officer. "It's an amazing opportunity to bring someone of his stature to our school."
Nov. 15 will be "a monumental day" for the district, Lusher said.
The district will hold its second Hands of Gratitude event earlier in the day, she said.
All students and teachers and dozens of community members will work in teams that morning to build prosthetic hands that will be given to children who have lost a limb or have a deformity due to birth conditions, accidents or land-mine explosions. The project will benefit Hands of Gratitude, a program coordinated by Corporate Motivation.
A total of 265 prosthetic hands were built in May 2018 at part of Grandview's first Hands of Gratitude project.
Meanwhile, Shortz's day Nov. 15 will include at least one game of table tennis. He is the owner and director of the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, New York.
"Will Shortz is an avid pingpong player, and his one request is that we arrange to have a pingpong table available for him to use," Trares said. "He doesn't go a day without playing.
"We're hoping to get a table set up at the high school. It would be awesome if some students could play a game with him."
The Grandview Heights Public Library Foundation raises private funds to support the library's financial security and to enhance its services, Trares said.
"We try to sponsor activities and programs that cannot be support through the library's budget," she said.
Foundation projects have included the establishment of Wi-Fi in Grandview parks and the PopUp Library, a vehicle that travels to local events with books and other materials people may check out, Trares said.
The foundation established an endowment fund in 1993 through the Columbus Foundation to support its mission, she said.
Although any proceeds that come from Shortz's appearance will benefit the foundation, "we don't expect to make much profit," Trares said.
"We're doing it as more of a public service and to raise awareness of the library and the foundation," she said.