creative:impact - Putting The Pieces Together With A Puzzle Master

Nov 19, 2019

Peter Collins
Credit NY Times Crosswords /

Are you someone who claims to do the Sunday crossword puzzle in ink?  That’s impressive, but how about constructing it in the first place?  Meet Peter Collins, a crossword constructor who has had more than 200 crosswords published – 100 in the New York Times.  He joins David Fair and Deb Polich to talk about the creative art of puzzle making on this week’s edition of "creative:impact."

Deb Polich, President and CEO of The Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

About Peter Collins

Collins has had around 200 published in major publications, with over 100 in the New York Times

Over the years, he has also contributed about ten word puzzles that Will Shortz has used on his NPR Sunday Puzzle (aired on WEMU).

To boot, WEMU played a role in how he got started in the crossword puzzle construction business.

Peter Collins graduated from the University of Michigan in 1980 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education, after which he immediately was hired into the Ann Arbor Public Schools.  He taught at Community High School for one year, then transferred to Huron, where he has been ever since.  During the 1983-84 school year, Mr. Collins taught near Reading, England as a participant in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program.

During the summers and evenings of his first few years of teaching, Mr. Collins took classes at Eastern Michigan University that eventually led to a Masters Degree in Mathematics in 1986.

For six years, Mr. Collins was a grader for AP Calculus Exams.  Additionally, he served as a consultant for the College Board, conducting AP Calculus seminars throughout the Midwest.

Mr. Collins has been Huron’s Mathematics Department Chairman since the 2000-2001 school year.


Peter Collins Bio

Peter Collins Crossword Puzzles for the New York Times

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