Queensborough Professor Cracks Crossword Code for a Good Cause

October 16, 2012 | Queensborough Community College

Engineering Technology instructor, Jeffrey Schwartz, won second place in the Second Annual Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) National Brain Game Challenge. Professor Schwartz, who solved the puzzle in just 58 minutes, won $500 in the “Public” division, outpacing many players in the contest’s “Pros” category and missing to the first-place winner by a mere three minutes.

After the puzzle contest was posted on September 30, contestants had 24 hours to compete for a total of $7,000 in prizes. More than 800 people from across the country registered for the contest this year—raising more than $20,000 to support the organization’s care-related programs and services nationwide.

Unlike most of the other winners, Professor Schwartz caught on early to the puzzle’s intricate Alzheimer’s-related theme that involved dropping the letters “AD” from words in order to underscore a powerful message about eradicating the brain disorder, which is often abbreviated “AD.”

“My favorite clue was 108-Across, “Sound from a potty-trained kitty—“Flushing Meows.”

Professor Schwartz solves the crossword in The New York Times every day and in New York magazine every week. In addition, he competes in puzzle tournaments whenever he can—and has won several local contests.

Professor Schwartz, who was a contestant on Jeopardy five years ago, regularly organizes Jeopardy game contests for his students at Queensborough Community College. The next Jeopardy contest will take place Wednesday, November 14 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Technology Building, Room T-22.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families.