American Catch & The Crosswords Century


Next on Life Elsewhere two authors talk about their fascinating must-read books

The U.S. has access to 94,000 miles of coastline, and nearly half the population lives less than ten miles from the sea. Yet 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. In contrast, a third of all the fish and shellfish we catch are sold to foreign countries. What is keeping us from eating from our local waters?

Norman B interviews New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg who’s new book  American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood examines the logic-defying problem with American seafood consumption. Greenberg deftly explores three quintessential American seafoods: The New York oyster, the Gulf shrimp and the Alaskan sockeye salmon. We may believe that we are what we eat, but Greenberg argues that we do not eat what we truly are. We are an ocean nation, the author says, yet we eat a minimal amount of seafood in comparison to meat and poultry. Study after study has touted the benefits of a diet rich in omega-3s from fish, and we have access to a wealth of nutritious, local food options, but we opt out.


London-based author, journalist, television producer and academic Alan Connor, writes a bi-weekly column for The Guardian on crosswords. Connor’s obvious passion for the ubiquitous puzzle, led him to write about its fascinating history. He chronicles every twist and turn from the 1920’s, when crosswords were considered to be a menace to productive society, to World War II, when they were used to recruit code breakers, to their starring role in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.  

Alan Connor joins Life Elsewhere and Norman B to talk about his new book, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief. You’ll hear about the colorful characters who make up the interesting and often bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers. The A-list names of some of the more well-known among the puzzle solvers may surprise you. Connor even explains how your character is revealed by the implement you use.

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