I first Met Kevin McKeever in Adelaide, Australia, in January 2000 while working for a major technology company during a tour of offices in the Asia-Pacific region. It was a great trip: during our free time, I got to dip my toes in the chilly waters of the Southern Ocean at the palindromically-named city of Glenelg and watch a gorgeous sunset from the summit of the wonderfully self-descriptive Mount Lofty.
Several years later, Kevin landed an ex-pat assignment which brought him to South Florida in 2004, where he sat in the cubicle across the aisle from me. It was there that we discovered a mutual love of puzzle solving.
One day, Kevin did something which I found quite extraordinary: he asked me to test solve an acrostic puzzle he’d been working on. I was stunned – I didn’t realize that ordinary people could create such things on their own, much less edit them into a format that looked like the puzzles I saw in Games and other magazines. (I still have my copy of that acrostic he constructed.)
From that point on, I’ve been spending as much time constructing puzzles as I’ve spent solving them. Kevin is the person who inspired me to be a puzzle constructor instead of simply a puzzle solver. For that, I’m eternally grateful.