I'm the first to admit I was NOT the most excellent student in college, well at least the first 4 years I attended school. I was pretty immature and didn't take it seriously. Luckily that is NOT the case for a Carleton College student, who just accomplished a rare publishing feat. Billy Bratton became recently the 21st person with four or more crosswords published in the New York Times before age 20!

Crosswords have to be TOUGH to create. Finding not only words that fit into one another like the game of Scrabble, but you also have to write the clues, and sometimes there is even a theme that each puzzle concentrates on. Billy doesn't seem to have much trouble with any of those things, as at the age of 20 his crosswords have been published in the New York Times 4 times.

Carleton College, a private school in Northfield, recently featured Billy and his accomplishment.

According to the online publication from Carleton College:

On Dec. 31, 2022, with a themeless Saturday puzzle, Billy Bratton ’25 became one of only 21 people to have at least four crosswords published in the New York Times before turning 20. To make it more impressive, he’s only been constructing puzzles for under three years.

Bratton told the college in an interview that he got his start creating crosswords during the first few months of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I got into constructing crosswords in March 2020 when it came time to find a quarantine hobby,” Bratton said. “It seemed like a logical extension of crossword solving, which was a hobby that, as luck would have it, I picked up in January and February of that year.”

Congrats to Billy on his rare and amazing accomplishment!

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