Entries by admin

Perplexed by Cryptic Crosswords?

Thanks to the lovely people at Splinter Design, you can watch my thoughts about taking your first steps into solving cryptic crosswords as part of the BBC’s IDEAS project, a series of short films explaining interesting things in entertaining ways. Click here to watch the film on the BBC’s website.

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 […]