Thursday, December 28, 2006

i enjoyed your work mr sperber

you drove me CRAZY at times, but you did keep my mind occupied!

thank you mr sperber for 27 years of fun AND frustration

Such Fun He Supplied; A Puzzler Has Died

By JOEL LANG Courant Staff Writer December 27 2006
Elliott Sperber, the shameless punster and rhymester whose cryptogram puzzles appeared in the Sunday Courant for 27 years until last month, died Saturday at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford.Sperber was 79. Aileen Sperber, his wife of 55 years, said that the cause of death was recently diagnosed lung cancer.In private conversation, Sperber displayed the same kind of humor he injected into his word puzzles. He spoke in a deep baritone that rumbled with a permanent chuckle."When he was dying in the hospice, he had the social workers hysterical. He had the doctors laughing. That's who he was - he saw humor in every part of life, dark and not dark. He was mostly sardonic, I guess," his widow recalled Tuesday at their home in West Hartford.Sperber's first cryptogram appeared in The Courant on July 22, 1979, during a gas shortage crisis. Its four-line answer read: "Gas lines are sure a shame/We don't know who to blame/No matter what your views/Please mind your peace and queues."At the time, Sperber was still in his 37-year career as a federal court reporter, working most regularly in the courtroom of Judge T. Emmet Clarie. "He would come home from a day at the court with these hysterical stories. I'm sure the other people there didn't see it," Aileen Sperber said.Sperber got the ideas for his puzzle from the periodicals he read, including The Courant, The New York Times, The New Yorker magazine, Time magazine and the nightly news on PBS. "It was a challenge for him, and he really liked to do it," she said. ............

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