The New York Times’ crossword puzzle has been challenging minds for 75 years now, and our favorite astrophysicist is pretty psyched about it.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the crossword — which began on Feb. 15, 1942 — the Times has kicked off a series of puzzles co-constructed by famous fans of the activity.
For Monday’s puzzle, Neil deGrasse Tyson and his old college acquaintance, veteran Times puzzle queen, Andrea Carla Michaels, had the honor of teaming up to create an out-of-this-world puzzle to stump fellow fans.
According to the Times, the puzzle‘s theme naturally has to do with space, and consists of “five fairly common star-related things, clued punnily”.
Michaels said that an excited Tyson participated in every aspect of puzzle creation, “from theme generation to input on fill and cluing, despite his very tight schedule” in order to “bring some of the universe down to Earth”.
Here’s an example of the adorable and very bad space puns to come (dedicated crossword puzzlers, beware of spoilers):
Clue: “Toe testing the waters?”
Answer: Little Dipper
Answer: Red Dwarf
The first collaboration was between The Social Network star, Jesse Eisenberg, and Patrick Blindauer. According to the publication, future collaborations include singer Lisa Loeb and Doug Peterson, pianist Emanuel Ax and Brad Wilber, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and David Kahn and more.
Ah, what a joy.