Sometime in the 1940’s I was introduced to Kingsley Double-Crostics in the Saturday Review of Literature while assisting my mother, albeit minimally, in her bulldog-like efforts to solve them. Elizabeth S. Kingsley, a Brooklyn-born school teacher, is credited with inventing the acrostic puzzle, or the double-crostic, as she called it. She published her first puzzle in the Saturday Review of Literature on March 31, 1934.
My love for this puzzle form and for words in general continued, and in the early 1970’s I began to construct acrostics. At first, there was no one with whom to share the puzzles and I was the only person to see the final products. Sometime later, contact was made with several other constructors and a correspondence and exchange of acrostics began. As the circle widened over time, I made the acquaintance of many other addicted souls who produce and/or solve these puzzles.
As a thank you to the many folks who have suffered through my puzzles, and as a salve to my ego, in 2001 I decided to put the first five hundred into print, and Theo Mercante’s Aardvark Press was born.
Now, for the first time, this original collection of puzzles, entitled D-Mentia, is available on-line. I invite you to peruse the archives and begin your literary adventure.
– Theo Mercante