99 Year Old New Middletown Woman Competes in Crossword Challenge

A 99-year-old woman from New Middletown proved she’s still sharp by competing in a crossword puzzle challenge.

Clara Keltz filled in the puzzle boxes at the Poland Library on Saturday.

“I think it’s good for your mind when you’re old, you know,” she said. “Gives you good vocabulary anyhow.”

The puzzles are New York Times’ crossword puzzles that come out next week.

“It wasn’t too bad today, said Keltz. “I usually do the Vindicator ones, and I can do them in about 20 minutes.”

Keltz got interested in crossword puzzles after her husband passed away. She said he used to do them, but she never had time.

“After he died, I sort of picked up the paper and started doing puzzles,” she said.

She said she enjoys figuring out puzzle answers, some are easier than others.

“Sometimes I know the word, but it won’t come to me until later,” she said.

Saturday marked Keltz’s third time competing in the challenge, which is a fundraiser for the library. Deborah Liptak, Development Director for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, said she’s excited to have Keltz back.

“It’s inspiring,” said Liptak. “I think it makes us all want to go out and start doing more and more crossword puzzles.”

Keltz said she knew she wasn’t going to win anything, but she did secure the number 10 spot.

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