Where there’s Will, there’s no way? At least I’ve personally never heard a creative challenge puzzle submitted by a woman ever declared a winner—or even acknowledged a runner-up—when chosen by Will Shortz and aired on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday.” Now I’m sure I’ve missed some names of his subjectively selected champs over the years, but rarely in recent years; and, in my experience, I’ve heard only clearly male names ascribed to creative entries he personally picks and reads aloud.
Even given a greater number of male submissions (if that’s so), that zero result for females over the years seems inexplicably skewed. Maybe Mr. Shortz agrees with Christopher Hitchens that women just can’t be funny, witty or even clever? Maybe it deserves deeper analysis. I surely don’t know but, instead of submitting entries under a gender-neutral alias, I’ve decided to post my creations here exclusively now whenever I try my hand at one of his wordplay challenges. I’d love it if my temporary “boycott” acts as some sort of anti-jinx, so that one of these Sundays soon—maybe even the one upcoming!—I’ll finally hear a fellow female named as Will’s winner.
So here are my offerings pertaining to his current (January 15, 2012) creative challenge: String together titles of television shows to form sensible sentences. He asked that the show titles be better known ones and that adherence to proper syntax is a key attribute. He noted he’ll read his picks on January 29th:
That Girl, The Office Gossip Girl, Lost 24 Bosom Buddies According to Jim; Now New Girl Numb3rs 30-Something Extra Friends.
Dateline Jersey Shore, Unforgettable Police Story: Miami Vice Cops Lost Prison Break Numb3rs Person of Interest, A Man Called Hawk, The Fugitive Prime Suspect Now Missing Without a Trace; Saved by the Bell, Family Survivor (Charlie Rose) Beat the Clock Caged Up All Night, Raising Hope Brothers and Sisters Stay Lucky Hidden Six Feet Under.
Up All Night Moonlighting, Charlie Rose Extra Lost, Grimm—Once Upon a Time A Gifted Man Now Keeping Up Appearances—Breaking Bad One Day at a Time To Tell the Truth.
Father Knows Best Life Rules of Engagement: Get Smart, Chuck The Paper Chase, Wipeout The Wire, Smash Secrets and Lies The F.B.I. Files, Expose Hidden Body of Proof, Follow the Sun, Race to Save the Planet, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Get a Life, Love Thy Neighbour, Access Hollywood Star, Search Lost Friends, Touch Unforgettable New Girl, House The Good Wife, Live to Dance, MASH Up All Night, Stay Lucky!