What’s a six-letter word for brainteaser? Center City, PA, Letter Carrier Jules Markey knows.
In his free time, Markey creates crossword puzzles — including eight published by The New York Times.
“You complete [a] puzzle and you say, ‘Hey, pretty good,’” Markey told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, Markey said.
A pile of discarded doors inspired his first puzzle in the Times, published in 2013. Another puzzle had a postal theme.
When Markey served as a judge at a crossword puzzle tournament last year, he discovered that crossword constructors come from all backgrounds. He met a furniture retailer from Rochester, NY, and a University of Minnesota chemistry professor.
Markey enjoys sharing his hobby with his customers, who are equally enthusiastic.
“Especially in a big city like this, you wouldn’t expect that kind of personal touch,” retired librarian Brenda Gray told the Inquirer.
Another fan: Will Shortz, the Times’ famed crossword puzzle editor. “He definitely has a playful mind,” Shortz said.