Mary Virginia OrnaIt's New Year's Eve, and I have a special end-of-the-year treat: an interview with pre-Shortzian constructor and chemistry professor Mary Virginia Orna!
I first wrote about Mary Virginia Orna back in May of 2014, after project historian Todd Gross had uncovered some interesting information about her and a number of other constructors. According to my (incomplete) records, Mary Virginia published 28 pre-Shortzian puzzles between 1979 and 1988, and I'd been meaning to try to contact her for some time. I finally did recently and was delighted when I heard back from her!
A professor of chemistry at The College of New Rochelle in New York, Mary Virginia has had a lifelong interest in languages. To learn more about her, first read her fascinating article on crossword construction, "Always a Cross(ed) Word," which I've posted on Scribd, and then my interview with her by clicking on the Pre-Shortzian Constructor Interviews tab above or here.
I've also posted Eugene T. Maleska's edits of Mary Virginia's "Mayhem" puzzle, which was originally published on May 12, 1985. Will Shortz showed them to me a couple of summers ago when I was researching pre-Shortzian constructors and let me make a copy (thanks again, Will!). Enjoy!