Our Buddy Merl

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UnknownIt was tough to see that Merl Reagle died the other day at a very young 65.

Jerry and I met Merl at the Tucson Festival of Books a few years ago. For a crossword fanatic like me, it was like meeting a rockstar. Merl brought a wicked sense of humor to constructing, and almost single-handedly stole puzzles from the blue-rinse ghetto when he hit the scene.

His first words upon meeting us were, “You guys made ZITS useable in crossword puzzles.” And indeed we have shown up in a few.

It was an honor to illustrate Merl’s best-of crossword book commemorating the 100th anniversary of the puzzles last year. It’s a must-have for any true solver. Rest in peace, friend.Merl

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10 thoughts on “Our Buddy Merl

  1. Really entertaining strip, but no need for reference to F-Bomb. You surely could have used something less controversial. regardless of freedom of speech, etc. Sorry, I wasn’t raised to accept everything. Movie makers, for instance, don’t know how to swear, they only know the F. Those people should have had experience in an army motor pool. I’m 80. Walk through a high school or college campus and you might feel as disappointed as I am in today’s youth.

    • I liked the F-Bomb. Very effective- reminds me of Jean Shepard in the Christmas Story saying Fudge when helping his dad change the tire – only it wasn’t fun. I think that Jay would have approved of he updated reference. Mark Kennedy

    • He’s a high school senior, what do you expect? Did you not notice how upset Connie was? And you’re fucking 80, stop pretending like you own the world… Your generation wasn’t any better

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