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I’m always delighted to hear from you if you have enjoyed my puzzles, and will share thoughts about life, crosswords and the world if you’d like to get in touch.

The Guardian


You can find all of my Guardian puzzles to print for yourself or to enjoy online by following the link to my Profile page on the left - here are some suggestions:


Boatman’s Beautiful Game


A Drunken Boatman


Watching the Detectives


Eleven of a Kind


Boatman’s Fresh Crop


Boatman’s Number’s Up


Boatman’s In Love


Boatman, as Forecast


Whatever Next for Boatman?


Spooky ...


Boatman Gets the Bird


Presidents on Parade

More history


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 need to remember that Doc is editor Tom Johnson’s compiling pseudonym, and to know that the competition attracted new sponsorship from OUP, supplementing the long-standing support of Chambers.


Answers at the bottom of the page …


Perhaps Chamber’s & Co rather upset? (9)


Maniac reveals male organ for Doc (3,6)


Puzzling statement is to be expected at start of article (our editor’s, reportedly)  (7)

The nice thing about doing a crossword puzzle is, you know there is a solution.

 Stephen Sondheim

Get in


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Araucaria Araucana, the monkey puzzle, which inspired John Graham’s much-revered pseudonym

Text Box: New and classic puzzles from
1 Across magazine

Solutions to

1 Across clueing competition entries





Crossword Discussion Sites


You may enjoy paying a visit to some of these crossword-related websites:


Guardian Blog Alan Connor’s round-up and analysis of the best of the week’s cryptic crosswords in the Guardian and elsewhere


Fifteen Squared A band of dedicated solvers provide super-fast solutions for Guardian and other crosswords, featuring wise commentary and robust discussion


Crossword Unclued Intelligent discussion of clue types and conventions, including some more examples that you may recognise from my oeuvre


Best-for-Puzzles Who’s Who Well-researched compendium of, as it says, puzzling people


Big Dave Keeper of the unofficial Telegraph crossword blog, which may possibly be the world’s most popular crossword blogging site


Dave Tilley Provocative musings of blogger Tilsit


The Crossword Centre by Derek Harrison


EJ’s Crossword Showcase EJ is none other than Brummie and Cyclops. His website includes interesting examples of good and bad clueing, and links to more sites


David Astle The fearsomely fertile mind of DA


Paul Henderson who is Phi and many more


Google+ Sam Wilson’s Google+ group for news and discussion of matters cryptic

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Kaz’s excellent Crossword-solving classes

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Crossword Solving Tuition


I don’t teach how to solve crosswords, but I know a man who does … If you want to sharpen your skills, take a look at Kaz Pasiecznik’s excellent classes.

Cryptics by


Bonus downloads


Here are a few older puzzles 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 and Girls




Where Are The Boatmen?


A Well-Known Pair


Salty Tales


Merry Christmas 2004

© Copyright Ashley Knowles 2011-2016 | all rights reserved  | colour design by Bernadina Lloyd www.bernadinalloyd.co.uk

Text Box: Mark Goodliffe’s Magpie magazine

Crossword Magazines


Sites dedicated to publishing interesting new work, and worth following whether you’re starting out as a setter or looking for new solving challengers:


Text Box: The original online Crossword Club

That Referendum Day Puzzle


If you missed the special puzzle by Boatman and Crew that was published online on Referendum Day, you can find the puzzle here and the solution and discussion here

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Text Box: Fred’s Shed

There’s a small contribution from me in Fred’s Shed, a delightful short film by Stephen Graves.