By the time he was 14, David Steinberg had been constructing crossword puzzles for two years. He thought they were pretty good, so he began sending them to New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz.
Attempts one through 16 received a hard no.
"Then the 17th one came back as a 'maybe,' instead of a 'no,'" Steinberg said. "It was a code-related puzzle, it had kind of a coded message, and he wanted the message to be related to code somehow. I had to rethink the theme a little bit."