Interview: Kevin Stone
There is a well known correlation between puzzle aficionados and mathematicians -- see our interview with Dr. Erich Friedman for one example. Kevin Stone is another. He's a math teacher and the brains behind BrainBashers.com, a highly popular UK website. We talked with him about the good, the bad and the ugly of Sudoku, and the joys of fan mail.
Puzzle Monster: Let's start with the basics. What would you like people to know about you?
Kevin Stone: I live in a small village almost in the dead centre of England. I'm 40, married with two children. I've been a member of Mensa for nearly 20 years. I enjoy walking, reading, astronomy and I own a very quick motorbike. I like solving puzzles! Although as I've grown older, I have less and less time for my favourite hobby.
PM: Do you have a day job?
KS: I'm a maths teacher, I teach 11-18 year olds that maths can be interesting!
PM: How did BrainBashers get started?
KS: I've been writing puzzles for nearly 30 years now, submitting them to various publications and thought it would be a good idea to place some on the Internet. This was in 1997 and I've never looked back! Over the years the site has grown from just puzzles, to games, illusions, and a whole host of interesting oddities. I've tried to collect as many different puzzles types from all over the world, most recently an extensive section on Japanese type puzzles. BrainBashers was one of the first to feature Sudoku, taking my original material from Wayne Gould himself before the craze took off a few years ago, and I generate them myself.
PM: How many visitors does BrainBashers get every month?
KS: BrainBashers gets around 750,000 visitors a month, and is steadily growing.
PM: Have you won any awards?
KS: BrainBashers has won over 100 awards, from all over the world. My puzzles have featured in thousands of newsletters, magazines and books. I've written two books on Sudoku and wrote for 2 national UK newspapers for around a year.
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