David Kwong creates illusions for films and TV, and makes verbal magic as a crossword puzzle maker for the New York Times.

Why you should listen

As a magician and crossword puzzle constructor, David Kwong mixes puzzles and prestidigitation. With a background in film (and a Harvard degree in the history of magic), he's the founder of the Misdirectors Guild, an elite group of magicians that specialize in illusion for film, television and theater (they're working right now on Marvel's upcoming Ant-Man). Kwong created the illusions for the 2013 hit film Now You See Me, about a gang of street magicians caught up in a crime caper.
He is a frequent crossword writer for the New York Times, often collaborating with his friend Kevan Choset. His puzzles are marked by clever, outside-the-grid thinking -- and sometimes a dash of magic. He also produces Deception on ABC, a crime drama about a magician who joins the FBI. Check out his talk on the science of illusion.

David Kwong’s TED talk

More news and ideas from David Kwong

Live from TED2019

Short talks, big ideas: The talks of TED Unplugged at TED2019

April 17, 2019

In a fast-paced session of talks curated by TED arts and design curator Chee Pearlman and hosted with improv leader Anthony Veneziale, 12 members of the TED community shared ideas in a special format: each had to keep their talks under six minutes, with auto-advancing, timed slides. And yes, the mic does cut after six minutes!

Continue reading
Live from TED

In case you missed it: Day 2 at TED2014

March 19, 2014

So what went down at TED on day two? Well, a lot, as it happens. As curator Chris Anderson commented rather tiredly later, “that was the most intense day of TED I can remember, ever.” Here, a lightning round-up of some of the day’s key moments. Edward Snowden trundles onto stage The first big surprise […]

Continue reading