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Will Shortz

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Rex Parker’s Crossword Blog for Experts, Cheaters

Whether you bang out Friday puzzles and know a four-letter toiletry product is (almost) always “ATRA” or mull over Sunday puzzles for days, you'll dig the clue-by-clue musings of this blog.

Inside Bill Clinton's Puzzling Mind

Bill Clinton is a crossword buff; he even makes an appearance in Wordplay, the film about puzzle maniacs and their patron saint, Will Shortz. Sunday, finally, he moved from a mere solver to a published author: The Times Magazine published a crossword with the clues — although not the grid itself — designed by the former president. The magazine seemed vaguely unimpressed with Clinton's effort — his exercise didn't supplant the usual puzzle but was published alongside it, and Shortz appended an "editor's note" pretty much wiping his hands clean of it: "The clues in this puzzle are a little more playful and involve more wordplay than in a typical crossword." Ouch. We went ahead and solved the damned thing today, on five hours of sleep and battling a hangover. (Don't say we never do anything for you!) After the jump, a journey through the presidential puzzle. Needless to say, the crossword equivalent of spoilers follow.