Merl Reagle

Merl Reagle (’72) was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Merl Reagle, whom Games magazine has called the “best Sunday crossword creator in America,” constructed his first crossword puzzle at age 6 and sold his first puzzle to The New York Times when he was just 16 and a student at Tucson’s Catalina High School. His puzzles also appeared in the Daily Wildcat while he was a student at the UofA. He started making the Sunday crossword for the San Francisco Examiner in 1985 , and since the mid-1990s his self-syndicated puzzle has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Seattle Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and many others. His puzzle began running in the Washington Post magazine this year.

“Crossword-solving is supposed to be good exercise, like a ThighMaster for your mind,” says Reagle.” But like any exercise, I think it should be as fun as possible. I’ve always had sort of a bent but G-rated sense of humor — hence the guarantee in all of my crossword puzzle books, ‘Twisted but fair.’”

His “bent but G-rated” humor is what makes Reagle’s crosswords so attractive to the Writers Group. “Merl’s puzzles are not only charming, witty and fun to solve, they are laugh-out-loud funny. No other ‘puzzle composer’ does quite what Merl does,” says Amy Lago, editor of comics and graphics for the Writers Group.

Reagle has been featured on ABC’s “Nightline” with Ted Koppel, and he co-starred in the hit documentary “Wordplay.” He lives in Tampa, Fla., with Marie, his wife and partner in their puzzle book publishing company. (source: Washington Post Writers Group)

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