Crossword puzzle all-star joins Andrews McMeel

Kansas City, Mo. – Andrews McMeel Syndication (AMS) announced plans to bring the role of editor of the popular USA TODAY Crossword puzzle in house. Erik Agard, currently Assistant Editor of Puzzles and Games at AMS, assumed the role on December 2, 2019.

Regarded as one of the most talented constructors of his generation, Erik Agard is a puzzlemaker whose crosswords have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Crosswords With Friends, the Arizona Daily Star, and elsewhere. He is the author of Food for Thought Crosswords (2017, Puzzlewright) and co-author of Black History Year Midis (2019, The New York Times Crossword app).

“I used to race my friends on the USA TODAY crossword in the computer lab at school (sorry to those teachers), so it’s a surreal pleasure as well as a dream come true to now be editing this iconic puzzle,” said Agard.

Agard is also co-organizer of the Indie 500 Crossword Tournament and a co-founder of the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory, an online group that provides resources and mentorship for aspiring puzzlemakers from underrepresented groups.

As a solver, he won Lollapuzzoola in 2016 and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in 2018. Also, in 2018, he appeared on “Jeopardy!” and “Real Sports” with Bryant Gumbel.

Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Agard is an alumnus of the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland.


About Andrews McMeel Syndication

USA TODAY Crossword is a feature distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication (AMS), the largest independent newspaper feature syndicate in the U.S. AMS is a division of Andrews McMeel Universal, a creative media company based in Kansas City, Missouri, and home of iconic comics such as Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Peanuts, The Far Side, Garfield, and contemporary favorites Sarah’s ScribblesBreaking Cat News, and Phoebe and Her Unicorn. Other divisions include a global publishing house (Andrews McMeel Publishing) and Andrews McMeel Entertainment, the film and television division.  No matter the medium, our aim is to bring joy and inspiration to people’s lives through the work of our talented creators (