10 May, 2009

As usual, I submitted a few of my favourite clues from XWD009 to the Compose A Clue competition on Paul’s Cryptica website, and I’ve just seen that 11 across was awarded the gold for this week. Here’s the clue:

Outfit designers created incorporating large bust and white headpiece. (7,5)

Very pleased!



5 May, 2009

Well, it seems to have been quite a few weeks since I last posted a new puzzle. I have a few “works in progress” but I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to put my mind to getting them into a fit state to be published. But here’s one I’ve managed to finish off, and I hope there’ll be more to follow soon.

There are a couple of really good clues in this one, even if I say so myself!



18 March, 2009

My latest crossword has just gone online and can be seen here.


7 March, 2009

And another new one online here.

I actually finished this one before number 6, and in my haste to complete it, mucked up one of the clues (21a) by making an anagram that was one letter short. It now has a new clue, and a couple of other clues have been slightly tweaked – hopefully for the better.

As with my previous themed puzzle, knowledge of the theme is not required to solve it. Two of the solutions are obviously linked, the rest less obvious unless you are familiar with what it is that links them…

Brendan in the Guardian recently had a puzzle with a theme that was not made explicit – you either spotted it or you didn’t. I like this approach. Sometimes, knowing the theme or having it mentioned explicitly in the clues can make it too easy to solve – or too difficult, if you don’t know the subject. I prefer themed solutions to be words that stand alone, and clues to be solvable without requiring specialist knowledge. I think next time I do a themed puzzle, I’ll take the Brendan approach and not mention the theme at all.


7 March, 2009

New puzzle now online here.

This one took me ages to do. It was about mostly done a few weeks ago, but I found the last few words very difficult to write clues for. Plus I’ve not had my mind on crosswords much lately due to being tired from having a busy time at work.

Anyway, it’s still not perfect but it will do for now. I’ll post an annotated solution later.

XWD005 – solutions

17 February, 2009

My first attempt at a themed crossword – the theme is cryptically alluded to in the introductory line but is otherwise not made explicit in the puzzle.

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XWD004 – solutions

17 February, 2009

This was a fairly straightforward puzzle to write clues for and it was all done quite quickly, except for a few tricky words that kept me scratching my head for ages. I’m still not happy with a few of the clues but I think the overall standard is progressively better than the earlier efforts. Again, I’ve got three consecutive anagrams in the down clues, which is unfortunate, but I think the balance of different clue types is OK overall.

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