Best Gift I've Ever Given

Lucky editors reveal the most successful gifts from their refined repertoire.

Esther Haynes, Deputy Editor

My husband, Mike, does the New York Times crossword puzzle every day (even Saturday!), and he’s annoyingly good at it. For his birthday this year, I hired the extremely talented Brendan Emmett Quigley, who has written puzzles for the Times, ESPN, McSweeney’s, his own website and many other people/publications to make a personalized crossword just for Mike.

I came up with a bunch of personal keywords, inside jokes and names of people who
mean something to my husband, and then Brendan worked them into one awesome puzzle. When I gave it to Mike, he looked thoroughly delighted and a little astonished. And isn’t that how you always want someone to look when you give them a gift?

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