The Press: Is That So?

Every weekday morning around 11, a stooped figure with thick glasses, a glistening bald pate and a slight scowl would step off a Broadway bus and trudge to the plain edifice that houses the New York Times. Colleagues on the Times took no offense when kindly Simeon Strunsky failed to return their elevator nods; they all knew that he was nearsighted.

Yet as the anonymous author for 15 years of the often wise, often witty column, "Topics of The Times," Strunsky had a far-darting eye. In a single week, he looked at plays of...

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