For over 60 years, The Nation has been proud to publish the brilliant and brain-teasing crossword puzzles of Frank W. Lewis. Frank, who retired at the end of 2009, died peacefully last Thursday at the age of 98.
Frank was a true Renaissance man, a lover of music, history, literature, language, botany, geography, sports, boating, cards—and much more— all of which enliven his puzzles. As a cryptoanalyst for the National Security Agency, he was a leader in cracking both Japanese and German codes during World War II and as a result was awarded both the Exceptional Civilian and Outstanding Civilian medals—the only person to win both. Frank also coordinated setting up the first computer systems between the service branches after the war.
By 1947 Frank had fallen for cryptic crosswords and when a vacancy opened up on The Nation‘s puzzle page, he was chosen by readers to fill the new position. He’s had an impressive and loyal following ever since—among them Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Vonnegut, and Katha Pollitt—and his masterful crosswords on the last page will be deeply missed.
For the past year we’ve been running "Frank’s Golden Oldies" while we look for a successor to the master. Early in the New Year, we will announce the results of our search.