If the world's greatest magician was Harry Houdini, and the world's greatest detective was Sherlock Holmes, then surely the world's greatest puzzle and game master is Steve Ryan, recognized as one of the most prolific creators of puzzles in the world, with more than 12,000 brain-busting bafflers to his credit.

            This virtuoso of vexation has been inventing games and puzzles since childhood.  Early in his career he found a market for his creations at Copley News Service, where his Puzzles & Posers and Zig-Zag features appeared for more than 30 years. Currently his puzzle features are distributed through Creators Syndicate.

Steve challenges lucky lottery 
players to beat "The Cube" 
on the set of "Instant Riches"


Here we see Steve superimposed 
with his "Star Struck" puzzle 
for his first publicity photo for 
Copley News Service.

Ryan's creative genius also catapulted him into television, where he co-created and developed the TV game show "Blockbusters" for television's most prestigious game show packager, Mark Goodson.  Ryan has also written for "Password Plus," "Trivia Trap," "Body Language," and "Catch Phrase," and created all the rebus puzzles for TV's "Classic Concentration" and contributed “The Price Is Right” pricing game Now & Then.

As senior games executive at Goodson’s lottery division Steve has created games with million-dollar payoffs for many state and international lottery game shows, including "The Powerball Multi State Lottery" and “The Big Spin” in California.  And, Bally Gaming has utilized Steve’s rebus creations in the  "Concentration” slot machine. 

Steve puts the finishing touches
 on one of his pencil sketch rebuses.

Steve poses with the completed   
"Classic Concentration" rebus.  
(See Puzzle Gallery to play.)

Ryan is the author of more than twenty popular books, including IQ Boosters, Brain Busters, Lunchbox Puzzles, Sit & Solve Pencil Puzzles, Test Your Puzzle IQ, Mystifying Math Puzzles, Great Rebus Puzzles, Classic Concentration and co-author of The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows and The Ultimate TV Game Show Book.  His puzzles have also appeared in such magazines as Games, Nick, Nickelodeon, Nick Toons and World of Puzzles in the U.S. and Games & Puzzles in the United Kingdom.  Worldwide, his puzzle books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish and have also surfaced in India, Pakistan and Indonesia with other faraway lands soon to experience Ryan's puzzling world. 

Steve's extensive knowledge and experience as a TV Game Show historian and Game Show creator has been called upon to serve as an Expert Witness in legal cases and to guest as a Game Show Expert on such formats as "Entertainment Tonight" and Game Show Network

Additional credits include consultant and team member for the Innovation, Invention & Design division at IGT (International Game Technology), the world’s largest creator, manufacturer and distributor of slot machines.  At, where more than 20 million people play games each month, Steve served as a developer for Internet online games and puzzles.  For Copley Radio Network, Steve created the Wireless Flash Game Pac which allowed radio DJs in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to instantly become game show hosts.  The product included a variety of Q&A type games complete with a script to be played with lucky callers on a daily basis.     

Steve has also served as creative consultant to Hasbro Studios assisting in the creation and development of such game shows as "Family Game Night," "The Game of Life," and "Scrabble Showdown" for the HUB cable network. 

At Educational Insights, box games, handheld puzzles and classroom teaching aids, in the form of "Stix & Stones," "Twistomania" and "Sciene Challenge of the week" have entertained and challenged both young and adult minds. 

Many predicted Ryan’s gifts in art, design, and mathematics would lead to careers in other fields.   But as usual, Ryan had a surprise twist in store: he built a mental gymnastics empire instead.

 Nothing puzzling about that.


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