Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

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Emily Cox
Henry Rathvon

Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon are a married American puzzle-writing team. They wrote the "Atlantic Puzzler", a monthly cryptic crossword in The Atlantic magazine, from September 1977 to October 2009;[1][2] it was published online-only beginning March 2006.[3] They also create acrostics and cryptic crosswords for the New York Times, cryptics for Canada's National Post, puzzles for the US Airways in-flight magazine, and (with Henry Hook) Sunday crosswords for the Boston Globe.

Often published under the pseudonym Hex, Cox and Rathvon are considered pioneers of the American cryptic crossword and remain among the form's greatest exponents.[3][4][5]


In 2005, Rathvon's play Trapezium, a comedy in iambic pentameter, was produced by the Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival. The play was also performed at Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT in 2010.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Cox's parents were the pianist Shirley Louise (née Peet) Cox and the Rev. Dr. Howard H. Cox.[7] From a young age, Emily showed interest in playing trombone, painting suspension bridges,[8] reading about science matters, and rock climbing.[9]

Cox and Rathvon, who are married,[10] at one point lived in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


  1. ^ Arnot, Michelle (August 5, 2008). Four-Letter Words: And Other Secrets of a Crossword Insider. Penguin. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-399-53435-5. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  2. ^ "Biography". The Atlantic Monthly.
  3. ^ a b LaFrance, Adrienne (October 1, 2018). "Introducing The Atlantic Crossword". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  4. ^ Kosman, Joshua; Picciotto, Henri (September 12, 2013). "Cryptic Royalty". The Nation. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  5. ^ Zimmer, Ben (December 4, 2021). "Stephen Sondheim Didn't Just Change Musicals. He Changed Crosswords". Slate. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  6. ^ https://www.playhouseonpark.org/pop/20092010Season/playsandmusicals_trapezium.html
  7. ^ Popichak, Josh (November 21, 2020). "Shirley Louise (Peet) Cox, 92, of Bethlehem (Obituary)". sauconsource.com. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  8. ^ "Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  9. ^ Horne, Jim (November 8, 2008). "Acrostics Creators". The New York Times. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  10. ^ "Man uses crossword puzzle for marriage proposal". The Standard-Times. September 25, 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2023.