word. If you did not just strike a dopey hip-hop pose then this book may not be for you. Finally, crossword puzzles for a new generation of wordy nerds who have never heard of Uta Hagen and Mel Ott.

Now, I’m not sure whether a Huey Lewis reference can ever be used to prove hipness (kind of a meta concept there), but Brown senior Natan Last really doesn’t concern himself with such things; he’s too busy being brainy and confident and interesting. I suspect that Last is being groomed in some underground lair somewhere to succeed to the Will Shortz throne. You read it here first.

We first wrote about Last a few years ago when he brought Shortz to town for a special competitive event, and again in 2010 when the Brown University puzzle club constructed the New York Times crosswords for a week (click here). The new book has been favorably reviewed in USA Today,

Last specializes in fresh and modern clues, so if you’re pretty savvy about cast members of The Office, hip-hop groups and classic cartoons, you’ll probably do pretty well. Each puzzle is ranked by difficulty, and (of course) all of the answers are in the back if you need to cheat.

Now on sale for $11.95 with a foreword by Will Shortz. Word.

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