I am still here, by the way!   1 comment

Yes, I’ve been quiet. Busy setting, mostly, but there’s another project on the go – it may come to nothing, but I’m giving it a go. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 16, 2015 by Anax in Uncategorized

On we go   6 comments

In good and bad ways it’s been a busy couple of months. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 16, 2015 by Anax in Uncategorized

Best of luck goes incognito   11 comments

Because it was a prize puzzle, live until today, I spent last week in a fever of impatience, desperate to start writing about one of the nicest and strangest of clue-writing experiences. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 17, 2015 by Anax in Uncategorized

All of it   Leave a comment

My first job after leaving school was with a graphic design company in Manchester. The pay was too low for me to afford public transport, so I cycled there and back. No great hardship, of course, but it meant I didn’t have the luxury of tackling a crossword during the commute. To be honest, buying the paper would have been an extravagance on my wage. Occasionally, though, I called in at the newsagent across the road and picked up The Guardian so I could at least have a crack during lunch. My time at the company was short, but it saw me go from ‘crossword clueless’ to ‘a bit flash’; it also told me I would be a cryptic setter and that The Guardian’s inventiveness was my model and my place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted March 4, 2015 by Anax in Uncategorized

Back in the swing…   3 comments

Everybody loves Christmas, right? Well, I’m a long way from what you’d call Mr Grumpy, but sometimes I wonder. If I’m not setting puzzles I’m not earning so, while the festive period is enjoyable, it does mean a break as I commit to family stuff and – usually – a busier period for the band, and that can be a problem. Writing good clues consistently requires being ‘in the zone’, and the zone is fickle. Leave it for a few days and getting back to where you left off can be frustratingly difficult. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 5, 2015 by Anax in Uncategorized

Never give up!   5 comments

The email I received quite recently was rather sad. It came from a novice setter – I won’t give any details here, but it revolved around the frustration of what was felt to be an inability to get a full set of clues good enough for publication or submission. Essentially the tone was “I keep getting it wrong”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 22, 2014 by Anax in Newsification

Xim vs Lib – again!   3 comments

Yes, the battle rages on, as some of you may have noticed. I’ve resisted involvement for a couple of reasons. Adding comments could have been seen as attacking other setters, which I would never do, but I’m also aware that – in terms of the setting population – my opinion is one of several hundred and I have no claim to be any more right than anyone else. However, in the comparative safety of my own online space I can at least offer a couple of thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 26, 2014 by Anax in Uncategorized


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