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'Shocked and saddened' by puzzle maker Merl Reagle's death

To the editor: We were so saddened to hear of the death of Merl Reagle, crossword-puzzle maker extraordinaire. ("Merl Reagle dies at 65; maker of L.A. Times Sunday crossword puzzles," obituary, Aug. 23)

For years we have enjoyed working on his Sunday puzzles. He was so witty and clever and he obviously delighted in words as he played with their meanings. The amusing themes he developed for each crossword and the surprising twists of his clues often made us laugh out loud when we worked together on The Times' Sunday crossword.

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I imagine there are tens of thousands of people across the country who are grieving with us on the loss of a person we would have been happy to call a friend. In a way he was; we spent entire evenings with him while we were trying to solve his latest handiwork. He was so creative and amusing. Sundays will be not be the same without him.

A final clue: 65 across: Mr Real Glee (anagram of the name of a brilliant crossword puzzler). You know the answer.

Reynold Dacon and Brenda Anderson, Santa Monica

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To the editor: I was shocked and saddened to see Reagle's obituary in the paper on Sunday. Just one week ago, my husband and I sent him an email noting an error in one of the clues from the Aug. 16 puzzle. Two days later, Merl wrote us a lovely reply.

I'm glad we used that opportunity to also let him know that we are fans of his work. I hope that hearing it from folks he'd never met enabled him to find a bit of comfort in his waning moments.

Ronel Kelmen Wright, El Segundo

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