Famous puzzle author talks about Tampa Bay crossword history - WFLA News Channel 8

Famous puzzle author talks about Tampa Bay crossword history

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Kay Wynne and Merl Reagle Kay Wynne and Merl Reagle

The crossword puzzle celebrates its 100th anniversary and this popular American pastime is deeply rooted in Tampa Bay.

In fact, Master Crossword Constructor Merl Reagle, featured in the acclaimed documentary 'Wordplay,' lives in Tampa. His mind-boggling games have puzzled millions of people over the years, including some very famous ones, like former President Bill Clinton. Considered one of the best puzzle makers in the business, Reagle has played a major role in crossword game history.

"I got my first crossword puzzle in the New York Times when I was just 16 years old - I was the youngest ever," Reagle said.

Reagle's popular puzzles are filled with pop culture and humorous word play. They appears in the Washington Post, and are syndicated in 50 publications across the country. While researching for his latest book “Merl Reagle’s 100th Anniversary Crossword Book”, Reagle discovered another interesting clue that links the famous puzzles to Tampa Bay.

It turns out the only surviving daughter of the crossword inventor Arthur Wynne lives in Clearwater. Her name is Kay.

"I love the fact that we have this little bit of crossword history - most people think of NY when they think of crossword, The New York Times all the publishing, but the fact that Arthur Wynne retired in Clearwater, has a daughter that still live here, and we have a little bit of crossword history in Tampa Bay is just wonderful," Reagle said.

So the history of crossword puzzle construction has crossroads right here in Tampa Bay.

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