Up and running

OK, after much faffing about, I’ve finally sorted out my website and my blog. I’ll post here whenever I’ve put a new crossword on the website, so if you want to keep informed, subscribe using the RSS feed (link on the right).

All crosswords will be available to do online interactively (thanks to the Crossword Compiler Java applet) or as a pdf to print off and do the old-fashioned way. So far, I’ve put five on the website:
xwd001 | xwd002 | xwd003 | xwd004 | xwd005

Comments are welcome, but please: no spoilers! I’ll make separate blog postings about each one for comment and analysis.


4 Responses to Up and running

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:


    This afternoon my partner in crime & I spent an hour or so in a Cambridge cafe to tackle your XWD002. We really enjoyed it! Some pretty good clues. Beth liked the clever anagram of 23ac, and I thought 3dn was brilliant, because Middle Eastern could relate to paramilitary but did not. And although 9ac is rather easy, it is very elegant. The clue just does feel right (as somehow 14ac doesn’t, sorry). I thought I’d seen 1dn before, but that must be on the Cryptica site then? Still a clever clue, although Beth didn’t like the word ‘got’. I know a bit about pop music and Beth doesn’t, so it was a big surprise to me that it was her who found 25dn …
    Oh, and 23dn was great as well, not difficult but the sound combination of page and chapter does the trick for me.
    There are three clues we thought you probably should adjust.
    In 13ac the word ‘feast’ has too much similarity with Easter.
    The same thing for ‘honourable’ and ‘honest’ in 28ac.
    And in 11ac ‘Spanish’ is clued as ‘foreign’ – in our opinion not cryptic (enough).
    But as I said before, it was great fun!!
    So, thank you for this piece of entertainment.
    We started with Nr 002.
    Why? Because –whilst downloading- Beth saw 21ac ……

  2. dave says:

    Thanks for the comments, Sil. Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve now made a separate post for comments on XWD001, and I’m going to do the same for XWD002 (and the others) – if you don’t mind, when I’ve made that post, I’ll move your comment over to it (if it’s possible with this blogging software), partly for neatness and partly to avoid spoilers for other readers. I’ll also reply more fully to your comments then, but I will just say that yes, you’ve seen 1d on Cryptica – got an honourable mention from Paul a few weeks ago.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Dave.
    Now I see what you mean by spoilers – bit late, ay? But as a non-Brit my vocabulary is not 100% yet.
    Luckily I didn’t reveal too much. Maybe you should take my comments completely off the site then? I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the puzzle. It wasn’t my intention to make my feedback visible for everyone, it was just meant for you yourself, as a setter. Maybe you should create a special ‘address’ on your site where people can contact you and you alone, if they there is a reason for that.

  4. dave says:


    Hi Sil, don’t worry – a few minor spoilers aren’t a problem. I have an email link on the website if you’d rather contact me privately, but I’m happy for all comments to be posted publicly. I’ve just edited your comment to include a spoiler warning – hope that’s OK.

    Any criticisms of particular clues are welcome. I’m still new to setting crosswords so it would be helpful to have other people point out where I’m going wrong, especially as I might not always see the errors that are obvious to other people.

    I share your reservations about 13ac – “feast” is too similar to “Easter”. The problem is that the clue as written relies on the double meaning of feast as both “banquet” and “holy day”.

    Same problem for 28a – it’s meant to be a bad pun, but honourable and honest are too closely linked etymologically for the clue to really work.

    I hadn’t considered whether “foreign” was OK for “Spanish” in 11a, but it’s a good point – “not cryptic enough” is exactly right.

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