Mathematician and Cruciverbalist – Meet Dr. Fogarty

Puzzlemaster
Neville Fogarty – Crossword Puzzle Maker

Ever since his sophomore years Dr Neville Fogarty participated in a TV Show related to Crosswords and reached second place. It appears that that TV show fueled his passion for puzzles even further, and it has resulted in Neville being now known as one of the most prominent crossword puzzle creators. Neville has made a name for himself in the Crosswords World and his passion for puzzles has grown continously as has the number of puzzles that he has authored and some of them have been featured in very famous newspaper’s crossword editions such as NYTimes Crossword, Buzzfeed, LATimes just to name a few.

How did it All Start?

For Dr Neville it all started when he was a college student. During the summers he wanted to go to a TV show about crosswords. So he then spent about a month solving every crossword he had in its hands to practice. His father also helped with some of the crosswords he worked on. He was able to win at the first episode of that TV Show. A year or so after that event he was experimenting with creating his own puzzles as he thought they could not be that difficult to make. At first, like any beginner he found it to be a bit tricky but later on he managed to get a crossword puzzle published on the LA Times which also meant that he got a compensation for it.

How Does he go About Creating a Puzzle

Most of his crosswords or even crosswords in general are themed ones. So the first thing that Neville does is thinking of a theme. This typically means that you construct the puzzle in such a way that the most difficult answers have some string that connects them. There is something indirect that they have in common or that serve as a clue about each other. He then must think of some theme entries, while also keeping the grid dimensions in mind, also trying to leave as little empty(black) tiles as possible. He then organises the answers as nicely as he can and then he goes on with formulating the clues.

Advice for newbie Crossword Players

Like any other area, this the crossword creation or solving is something that needs practice and patience to get good at. For newbies to the crossword world it is best that you start with a simple and easy to figure puzzle. The ones on USA Today Crossword typically fall into the beginner-friendly puzzles. While it’s better to solve them on your own, it is not cheating if you confront the answers with a crossword helper site on the web. There is always the possibility that you may find an equally meaningful word but it is not the correct one.
Some players chose to play with a friend, this way you double your chances and as you make progress you will start to notice that some words, short words in particular pop up more frequently and are considered seed words by some cruciverbalists.