Meet Myles Mellor, a true puzzle expert who turned his passion into a thriving crossword business. Born and raised in Oxford, England, Mellor’s journey from creating homemade puzzles for his father to becoming a syndicated crossword creator has been nothing short of remarkable.
Today, his puzzles are featured in over 600 magazines and newspapers worldwide, captivating puzzle enthusiasts everywhere.
A Puzzle Person with a Purpose
Unlike the average puzzle enthusiast, Mellor’s love for puzzles extends far beyond casual interest. Raised in Oxford, England, Mellor grew up in a household where intellect thrived. With a doctor and a teacher as siblings, his family embodied a wealth of brains.
After completing his education at Bristol, Mellor relocated to the United States for a career in real estate administration while his family remained in England.
A Journey Sparked by a Memory
Tragically, Mellor’s mother passed away, leaving his father in a state of deep sorrow. Determined to lift his dad’s spirits, Mellor drew upon a cherished childhood memory of attempting to solve the challenging Guardian crossword puzzle together.
Inspired, he created personalized puzzles to send to his father, resulting in a remarkable transformation in his father’s mood. Encouraged by his dad’s response, Mellor’s homemade puzzles sparked a new idea – publishing his own puzzles.
The Path to Publication
Starting a puzzle business from scratch is not an easy task, and Mellor encountered numerous challenges along the way. Despite the initial setbacks and a lack of response from syndicates and magazines, Mellor persevered, driven by his father’s encouragement.
Eventually, he connected with puzzle creator David Hoyt at the Orange County Register, who recognized Mellor’s dedication and suggested creating themed puzzles tailored to specific magazine interests. Following Hoyt’s guidance, Mellor made his breakthrough, with his first puzzle published in 2001.
This breakthrough propelled Mellor’s part-time hobby into a full-time pursuit by 2006. Today, his puzzles are:
- Syndicated and published in over 600 magazines and newspapers
- Featured in numerous books, and
- Available through his online presence on Amazon
From Hobby to Full-Time Pursuit
With an estimated 16,000 puzzles crafted throughout his career, Mellor continues to astound puzzle enthusiasts with his impressive output. Publishing around 80 crosswords each month, Mellor’s dedication shines through.
Creating a single puzzle can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, requiring meticulous attention to detail. However, Mellor’s hard work has paid off, allowing him to enjoy a fulfilling and financially rewarding career alongside his supportive wife, Debby.
A Master of Themed Puzzles
Mellor’s passion lies in crafting themed puzzles, infusing the clues and answers with the content of the publication itself. From personalized puzzles for engaged couples, families, and businesses to sudokus, cryptograms, and word searches, Mellor’s creativity knows no bounds.
While he humbly admits to being better at puzzle creation than solving it, his humble nature adds to his charm. Mellor’s puzzles can be found in various formats, from novelty books to national newspapers, both in print and online.
A Rewarding Career
Unrelenting in his pursuit of puzzle excellence, Mellor recently founded National Crossword Solved Day, an annual celebration taking place on December 8th. With his undeniable impact on the world of crosswords, Mellor stands as a testament to the passion and dedication required to turn a hobby into a successful career.
Myles Mellor’s remarkable journey from crafting homemade puzzles for his father to becoming a syndicated crossword powerhouse is a testament to his passion and talent. His dedication to his craft has earned him recognition and success, allowing him to turn his love for puzzles into a fulfilling career.
As he continues to create puzzles that captivate and inspire, puzzle enthusiasts can look forward to experiencing Mellor’s ingenious creations across various platforms, reaffirming his status as one of the best puzzle creators in the world. With each new puzzle, Myles Mellor invites us to engage our minds, embrace the joy of solving, and celebrate the love for puzzles.