Goodbye Araucaria   1 comment

It’s not like me to be star-struck. Really, it isn’t. Celebrity is something that never interested me, and on those rare occasions when I’ve been in the company of famous people I’ve never gone into ‘please let me be seen with you’ mode. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 29, 2013 by Anax in Newsification

Who do you listen to?   5 comments

Like solvers, crossword setters are always learning. Even if we have a thorough knowledge of the technical rules, sticking to them is no guarantee that our work will entertain, or even meet overall satisfaction. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 11, 2013 by Anax in Newsification

Puns and Spoonerisms in conflict?   1 comment

Whenever I put a phrase answer in a grid one of the first things I look at – especially if nothing else has immediately sprung out – is whether or not the opening letters point to a Spoonerism. Often they don’t but, when they do, the temptation is there, but it’s tinged with reluctance. And that’s difficult to understand. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 8, 2013 by Anax in Newsification

John Henderson’s 50th   3 comments

A message from John Henderson (aka Nimrod, Elgar, Io)


I’d like to invite you all to a party that I’m organising at the Sheffield Tap on Saturday, October 26th. The excuse (who really needs one?) is that I shall be celebrating the slightly ripe middle age of 50, and I’d like as many friends as possible to be there! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 9, 2013 by Anax in Newsification

Clever, contrived, convoluted?   Leave a comment

As you rummage around the numerous cryptic crossword blogs you occasionally see those words; commenters describing a clue as contrived or convoluted, or even accusing the setter of ‘trying to be clever’. On most occasions such comments are made in good faith but, just as often, they are made without a full understanding of what goes into creating a set of crossword clues, so let us take a little peek into the way most setters work. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 7, 2013 by Anax in Uncategorized

After a long gap, a bit of frivolity   Leave a comment

Yes, it’s a long time since I updated the blog. Two reasons – very busy and haven’t had much to talk about. But for reasons unknown a communal concept popped into my head, and hopefully it’ll be a bit of harmless fun in which I hope you’ll participate. Here it is:

Who would you describe as the (insert name here) of crossword setting?

Let’s start on possibly controversial ground. Who would you call the Frankie Boyle of crossword setting?

Posted July 1, 2013 by Anax in Newsification

Talking about…   Leave a comment

Following the ‘revelation’ by the Daily Express that more people solve online crosswords than have sex (actually it was just a plug for their online puzzles pages) I was contacted by BBC Radio Humberside to do an interview with them early this afternoon. As it turned out there was no discussion about the Express survey, but presenter Peter Levy did ask about life as a crossword setter. The interview will stay online for 7 days so if you want to have a listen here’s the link:

This covers the whole programme. My slot starts at about 1hr 20min.

Posted March 26, 2013 by Anax in Newsification


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