Ep. 315: A.J. Jacobs on crosswords, riddles, and Wordle, plus director Barry Levinson’s new film, ‘The Survivor’
This week, we’re putting the pieces together.
Our Jewish guest is A.J. Jacobs, whose new book is The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, From Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life. He explains why puzzles are such a useful way to see the world, tries to stump us with some Jewish riddles, and tells us what it’s like to appear as a New York Times crossword clue. Listen to A.J.’s previous appearances on Unorthodox—on our very first episode in 2015, in 2017, and in 2018.
In honor of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, we’re sharing two special segments. First, Liel talks to director Barry Levinson, whose latest film, The Survivor, tells the true story of Harry Haft, a boxer who was forced to fight fellow inmates in Auschwitz. Then we hear a recording of a Yiddish song performed by Avi Wisnia and his late grandfather, Cantor David Wisnia. For more check out mypolishwisnia.com.
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May 15 — Mark Oppenheimer will be discussing his book Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood at Temple Beth Israel in Skokie, Illinois. 10 a.m. Central; tickets here.
May 22 (virtual) — Stephanie Butnick will be in conversation with authors Gary Shteyngart and Claire Stanford as part of the Jewish Book Council and the Jewish Museum’s Unpacking the Book series. 7 p.m. Eastern; register here.
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