Author Archive

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

I have no interest in trees, ergo…   2 comments

…this puzzle is rubbish. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted June 18, 2014 by Anax in Newsification

Grid Balance   1 comment

For some reason several questions about grid balance have cropped up in the past month, and the best one to answer is the simple “What is it?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 15, 2014 by Anax in Uncategorized

The Muse   4 comments

It’s been a few years since I wrote a song – five years, in fact, since I rustled up a bassline, drum patterns, chord sequence and lyric to a something that became ‘No Chilli’, which I went on to record with my bandmate Dave. It’s a good song, turned out really well (I’m sure I uploaded it to YouTube but I can’t find it). It turned out well because The Muse was there as I wrote it, and how pretentious that sounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 13, 2014 by Anax in Uncategorized

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?   2 comments

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)

SLOGGERS AND BETTERS – Sheffield

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