May Huang and Kevin Trickey, both 24, lived in the same dorm at the University of Chicago in 2016, where they were both part of the school’s swing dance club.
“I think you could see swing dancing as a game in the sense that dancing is a sport,” May said. “It has the social element, a little bit of competition and a lot of different movements,” she added. “However, because we are each other’s most important dance partner, there are now some moves that I feel are special to us, and that only we lead and follow with each other.”
May and Kevin were friends for almost an entire school year before realizing they liked each other, but they were “helped by a nudge from some close friends,” May said. They spontaneously went on a don’t realize-this-was-a-date to Lake Michigan after a swing dance performance. That night, as they looked out over the lake, there were fireworks. It was “super romantic,” May said.
May and Kevin would both rather have a game night than go out for drinks, she said, adding that they are both “stubborn and competitive.”
During the pandemic, May downloaded the DailyExpertNews crossword app and made the daily Mini Crossword part of her routine. After a month creating what she called “May’s Minis,” she decided to make full-size crossword puzzles herself and created 15×15 grids, the standard format for The Times’ crossword puzzles. She and Kevin both worked from home and shared a desk, so he saw her hard at work completing the crossword puzzles. “I bet I can write you a program that can make a grid faster than you can,” Kevin told May. She accepted his challenge, and by the end of that month Kevin had created a program that could produce a full 15×15 grid.
In June 2020, after three years together, they married in a courthouse. The following month, their project Crossworthy.net – a free, independent crossword site featuring May or the couple puzzles – was born. In January 2021, May and Kevin Crossworthy introduced Construct, the puzzle construction side of their platform.
They now live in Berkeley, California, where Kevin works for a food technology company and May for a PR firm. Since they got married during the height of the pandemic, May and Kevin are hosting a personal wedding celebration in June.