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Richard E. Maltby Jr.’s Cryptics

It’s all a game to me: speaking with the master puzzle maker

Stephen Sondheim may have brought the cryptic crossword to America, but Richard E. Maltby Jr. brought it to Harper’s Magazine. The lyricist, director, and cryptic creator sat down with Harper’s and one of his checkers, Roddy Howland Jackson, to talk about the history of the puzzle, the declining use of dictionaries, and the rise in word puzzle fascination. After all, “What holds the country together is the diversity of different nerd populations.”

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April 2024

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