Entries by admin

You may like to know that 1 Across has a new online forum where you can upload your puzzles for public comment – a welcome addition to the options open to you if you’re trying to get your work seen, and a good place to try out more experimental ideas, however well-established you are. There […]

Mark Goodliffe in Action

In case you missed it last year, click here to see the brilliant Mark Goodliffe (aka Mr Magoo) solving one of my puzzles in real time – a rare honour, as he’s much better known as a champion solver of the Times – with a classic penny-dropping moment at 12:15. Not that Mark managed to […]

Something Festive for You

A couple of seasonal entertainments for you, recorded in 2016 and 2017 at benefit concerts for the very wonderful Ditchling Museum of Arts & Crafts … enjoy! Seasonal 251s White Christmas

My Compiling Process

STEP 1 I review my notebook of ideas-that-may-lead-to-themes-one-day. Some of them have been there for ten years, waiting for an interesting collision of images or wordplay. STEP 2 Meanwhile, a word or phrase I’ve heard or read somewhere may suggest a clue, and parts of that clue suggest other clues, so we’re off. STEP 3 […]

From 1 Across to the Guardian

In the work that I’ve done for 1 Across magazine, you’ll find all manner of tricky theme devices: mystery words, partial definitions, long key phrases, links between clues and structural methods (I think I may have invented a new form in the Alphabetical Takeaway, in which a different letter of the alphabet is ignored in […]

Fred’s Shed

There’s a small contribution from me in Fred’s Shed, a delightful short film by Stephen Graves. Click here to find out more about Stephen’s work.

The Referendum Day Puzzle

On 23 June 2016, the day of the European Union Referendum in the UK, Alan Connor published a blog post on the Guardian’s website containing what appeared to be a normal cryptic puzzle, set by Boatman and Crew. You’d have quickly realised, though, that something strange was happening, as the preamble stated “1,5,17,9 will be […]

1 Across Clueing Competition – Solutions

Here are the solutions to my three sample entries to the 1 Across clueing competition – I hope you didn’t cheat …   Perhaps Chamber’s & Co rather upset? (9) ORCHESTRA Maniac reveals male organ for Doc (3,6) ONE ACROSS Puzzling statement is to be expected at start of article (our editor’s, reportedly) (7) PARADOX […]

1 Across Clueing Competition – Clues

1 Across magazine used to run a monthly clueing competition. Before I became a proper compiler, I used to enter and, from time to time, win. Here, for your entertainment, are just a few of my entries. To enjoy the clues, you’ll need to know that the editor at the time was Tom Johnson, who […]

Bonus Downloads

Here are a few older puzzles for you to download from my 1 Across archive. You’ll notice how the themes differ from my work for the Guardian – I’ll be interested to hear what you think of them. Boys & Girls Proverb Where Are The Boatmen? A Well-Known Pair Salty Tales Merry Christmas 2004