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Crosswords Are No Problem for Puzzle Maker Bernice Gordon

Test your talents with a puzzle the 99-year-old cooked up for AARP

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crossword puzzle creator bernice gordon nytimes nyt new york times crosswords creator creates 100 years old (Ron Tarver/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT/Newscom)

Bernice Gordon, professional crossword-puzzle constructor. — Ron Tarver/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT/Newscom

If you like crossword puzzles, you've probably run into Bernice Gordon of Philadelphia.

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Gordon, 99, is thought to be the world's oldest professional crossword-puzzle constructor, and has devised thousands of puzzles in a career spanning seven decades. She sold her first puzzle to The New York Times in 1952 and still creates a new puzzle every day.

"My head is clear," she says.

Gordon now constructs puzzles on a computer, and although she has an impressive reference library, she extols the virtues of Google.

Are math puzzles in her future? "I can't add 2 and 2," Gordon says. "I count everything on my fingers."

Try your hand at Bernice Gordon's puzzle, below, by printing this page (use the second icon in the article's toolbar, above) or a puzzle PDF with clues or without. When you're done, check your answers on the next page.

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