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Relax, Binghamton's crossword champ is in house

On Friday, English Professor Michael Sharp visited the Binghamton studio of WSKG for an upcoming story on how the usually solitary dining room table activity: the crossword puzzle, becomes a social sport online.

Sharp's the author of the popular (in crossword circles) blog Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle. He solves three to four puzzles a day, and he solves them fast.

You'll have to hold tight to hear the rest of our conversation, but on this President's Day holiday, we thought we'd offer you a chance to pull Friday's paper out of the recycling and have a go along with him.

Here's Sharp -- solving Friday's Newsday crossword, and giving a crash course in solving strategy, in 12 minutes, and 5 seconds. Shameful, by his standards. Those pointers are slowing him down. But it's an impressive feat, nonetheless.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-953744.mp3

If you need more to keep you occupied today, another Binghamton professor with whom we have another upcoming profile, Jessica Fridrich, studies digital forensics by day.

However, on the internet, she's a leading light in the competitive world of speed-solving rubiks cubes - you can watch her solve a 3 x 3 cube at lightning speed on YouTube - which brings home to us a truism of the internet, that the fuel of an online community can really turn a niche interest into a pretty cool obsession.

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