Welcome back – after a brief hiatus we return this week to our Puzzler’s Wednesday series with all-round puzzler, Neville Fogarty.
- How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m a Ph.D. student studying mathematics at the University of Kentucky.
- When did you start solving and making puzzles?
My mom taught me how to solve crossword puzzles the summer after my first year of college. I started trying to make crosswords during my sophomore year, and sold my first puzzle to the Los Angeles Times the following summer. I started in on solving cryptics a year or two later; I remember working on a book of cryptics before choir practice during my senior year.
- What is your favorite kind of puzzle to solve/create?
One of my favorite types of puzzles to solve is a variety puzzle called Some Assembly Required; it combines a crossword with a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve written two of these, and they are by far my least favorite type of puzzle to write. I love a challenge, but yikes! What a pain! I think my favorite type to write is just a standard, themed American crossword, with lots of clean, interesting fill. Really, any puzzle that’s fair and filled with fun but gettable clues and answers is a puzzle I’ll enjoy. I don’t think I’m too hard to please.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest published puzzles?
I’ve been spending a lot of time on my math research lately, but I’ve found a bit of time to write the occasional puzzle. I’ve written a few puzzles for BuzzFeed (http://www.buzzfeed.com/nevillefogarty), which launched its own crossword last month. The puzzles are aimed at a younger audience that’s new to puzzling; I think it’s nice to have a new outlet for crosswords targeting a new generation of solvers.
- A cryptic clue that always stayed with you?
This one’s from an edition of the Rainbow Charity Puzzles (http://www.rainbowcharitypuzzles.co.uk/) from a few years back: Shows variation of time on maps (10)*
- Favorite constructor?
Patrick Berry, hands down. I have never been dissatisfied by a Patrick Berry puzzle. Great themed puzzles. Superb themeless. Excellent cryptics. And wonderful variety puzzles, many of his own invention. Check out some of his work here: http://aframegames.com/store/?page_id=63 (And if you’ve never solved “Middle of the Road,” make that a priority.)
- What do you like to do when you’re not doing puzzles?
During what free time I have, I love playing board and video games with my friends.
- If you could have dinner with one famous person who would choose?
I think I’d go with Jesus. (And I’d hope he could speak English!)
- If you had a superpower what would it be?
Teleportation would be really neat. Being able to travel anywhere instantly (for free!) would be both really useful and fun!
- What’s your personal motto?
No opportunity wasted.
- Links you’d like to share (website, puzzle, etc.)
Certainly! Here’s my latest puzzle, called “+2” which ran in the most recent edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education. PUZ: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/puzzles/20151113.puz, PDF: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/20151113.pdf
Also, here’s a link to my infrequently updated website, where I used to post puzzles. You can still access them there. (I am going through a bit of reorganizing, so if you hit on a dead link, please let me know!): https://nevillefogarty.wordpress.com/
*Solution to cryptic clue: PANTOMIMES