May 7, 2007 / 7:17 PM / 13 years ago

Bill Clinton pens NY Times' crossword puzzle

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has a new pastime far from fund raising for worthy causes — designing a crossword puzzle for The New York Times.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton sits on the steps of the stage as he listens to his wife, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), speak at a campaign fund-raiser in Washington March 20, 2007. REUTERS/Jim Young

Clinton wrote the clues for an online crossword puzzle published this weekend by the Times, filled with puns, pop culture references and plays on words.

The theme of the puzzle is “Twistin’ the Oldies,” with clues seeking updated versions for baby boomers of musical hits by artists such as Neil Sedaka and Carly Simon.

In an editor’s note, Times’ puzzle editor Will Shortz wrote: “The clues in this puzzle are a little more playful and involve more wordplay than in a typical crossword. You have been warned.”

Shortz told Reuters the Times gave Clinton the puzzle grid and the theme, and the former president provided the clues. Shortz said he did very little editing.

“I wanted it to be Clinton’s voice, not my voice,” Shortz said. “I touched up a few things here and there, but basically what President Clinton wrote for the clues is what appears in the puzzle.

“His clues make you laugh out loud,” he added. “He’s got a flair for this.”

Answers will be posted the weekend of May 11, the Times said.

A known crossword buff, Clinton appeared in the 2006 movie “Wordplay” about devotees and an annual puzzle convention.

Since leaving office in 2001, Clinton has worked as an advocate for international relief efforts; launched the William J. Clinton Foundation which, among other efforts; is trying to make HIV and AIDS drugs more affordable; served as a spokesman in such health efforts as fighting childhood obesity, and organized the Clinton Global Initiative to help fight poverty, disease and climate change.

Most recently, he has been campaigning on behalf of his wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the 2008 race for the White House.

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