Merl Reagle had the soul of a copy editor and the style of a stand-up comedian. During his too-short life he was both of those and much more: musician, songwriter, author, and one of the world’s great puzzle masters. If you love crosswords – not cross words – send up a prayer of thanks to Merl.
My friend Merl died suddenly last week at the age of 65. Reports said the cause was an attack of acute pancreatitis. I am not writing this to note his passing but to celebrate a remarkable life spent swimming in the English language. “You need two things to do what I do,” he once told me. “You have to be passionate about words, and you have to be curious about trivial stuff on lots of different topics.”
Merl created his first puzzle at the age of 6. Read more