Dan loved language and a playful twist of words. His puzzle themes were always creative and often brilliant, his clues were clever, his answers full of puns, some wonderful, some awful - just the sort of thing that would appeal to me.
I was pretty critical of some of his puzzle making on the L.A. Times Cross Word Corner blog, because - let's be real - neither of us is perfect. He would often visit the blog on days when his puzzles ran, and became part of the Corner family. I came to respect and admire him for his wit, his strength of character, and his great courage through a long and brutal final illness. He was a friend to all of us at the Corner.
RIP Dan. You will be sorely missed.
Update: This testimonial by Rich Norris, crossword editor of the L.A. Times was posted at Cruciverb.com.
I'm sorry to report that one of the LA Times's most prolific constructors, Dan Naddor, passed away Tuesday night as the result of an extended illness. Dan was one of my favorites, a fun and imaginative guy to work with. I will miss him. His unique style, creativity, energy and willingness to learn were assets that catapulted him to the top echelon of puzzle constructors since his October 2006 debut. In the three-plus years that followed, the LA Times published more than 100 of his puzzles. His legacy will live on through much of 2010: there are quite a few more of his puzzles to be edited and published over the coming months.
Dan's wife Tracie writes: "I can honestly say that this beloved pastime prolonged his life and gave him something to strive for, enjoy, frustrate over, became a "blogger" and somewhat of a celebrity. He loved constructing these puzzles and reading how you all enjoyed them.
"We have started a face book page under Dan Naddor and "the Crossword People" (which is how I fondly refer to your community) are welcome to visit & post. He passed away from complications of the cancer treatment (radiation to head & neck), but was considered "cancer-free". Cancer Donation information and services will be provided on his facebook site."