Despite having crosswords published in so many places it’s still a buzz to see them in print, and tomorrow is a very special day for me. As Anax, I make my debut in the Inquisitor series (Independent magazine). The Inquisitor is the barred thematic puzzle a la Listener/EV and this is my first foray in national print (I’ve had a couple of efforts published online in Magpie and on Neil Shepherd’s Free Crossword Online).
With it being a prize puzzle I can say nothing about it, but I can say it’s a huge thrill to have my first one in print. I’m tremendously grateful to editor John Henderson for allowing me to interrupt the flow of the big boys who regularly contribute to this prestigious series. I just hope that solvers will enjoy my humble efforts.
It’ll be a few weeks before it gets blogged on FifteenSquared but, as it’s my debut, I would really like feedback. If you get a chance to solve it then, primarily, THANK YOU, but if you’d like to let me know what you thought I’d be even more grateful.
PLEASE DON’T LEAVE COMMENTS HERE! In line with other crossword sites I would like to uphold the policy of not mentioning prize puzzles of this type online before their closing dates. However, if you enjoy it (or not) do please send me a text:
Just back from a week overseas with no Internet access, only a crummy old laptop to work on, and with only my phone’s Chambers Dictionary/Thesaurus for reference. A bit limited! One puzzle turned out OK; this one started OK but, after a few innocent themed clues centred on romance, it struck me that others offered more lewd potential, making the finished item unsuitable for newspaper publication. HOWEVER all is not as it seems. Almost without exception, there is nothing here that’s anything like as rude as the clues may suggest. Here it is: http://crossword.info/anaxcrosswords/SFTW
PS: In Monte-Carlo my daughter and I tried a new form of motorsport which has got to be taken up here – Karting on Ice! Seriously – electrically powered (but pretty fast) karts on a temporary ice rink set up in the main part of the harbour (where the pits are during the F1 race). Huge fun.
A double dose of yours truly, I’m afraid. Anax in the Independent tomorrow, followed by a Sunday Times effort.
What else? Oh yeah – next week looks like being a bit insane (can anything be a bit insane?). Mostly stuff with the band, comprising rehearsal on Monday and two full days in a recording studio on Wedmesday/Thursday. Most of Tuesday will be spent sitting in the audience while I watch a friend doing a TV quiz thingy, followed by an extremely late excursion to whatever local tavern may still be open. Friday? A band gig. Pretty busy all round, and who knows? I might just be able to squeeze in the occasional tiny bit of a-damn-sight-more-important crossword work. Actually, no – I’ve been slogging at it nonstop for about a month; maybe a week of puzzles on the back burner will be healthy.
Loroso returns to the FT today (Friday 6th) – here’s the FT puzzles page:
And my 50th birthday approaches fast – or, to put it another way, it’s already reached the stage where many venues are booked for 8th September (the day itself is the 6th, but a Thursday bash doesn’t seem the best idea somehow). It now looks certain the party – which will actually be an extended version of a northern Sloggers & Betters – will be at the Cinnamon Club in Bowdon, Altrincham, Cheshire. I’m going to have a look at the place this Saturday, just to make sure it’s a good setup for the band. No foreseeable reason for it not to be. All that will remain is for me to get the dosh out and pay for the room hire. It’s Cheshire. You pay. It isn’t cheap either.
So we’re going to make this a day/night to remember. A Sloggers & Betters gathering from roughly midday, then on into the evening with my band providing you with a couple of hours of funky disco groovy thang. For those with sensitive ears, we’re using the 3-piece ‘mini’ version of the band which has its drums/keyboards onour self-produced backing tracks, so we won’t be deafening anyone.
The venue doesn’t have a restaurant so we need to organise food – let’s assume for now it will be a buffet; any changes to that, I’ll let you know. Whatever is organised in terms of food at the venue, you won’t be paying – the entire event is free. It’s a birthday party, after all.
So make a note, friends. Saturday 8th September. Bowdon, Altrincham. It’s a mile or two from the railway station (which is also the terminus of the Metro link) so you may want to get a taxi if you’re not driving. There is a bus service 246 from the railway station, although it takes a slightly circuitous route once you reach Bowdon itself.
For now, I need to confirm numbers, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if you’d like to come along. We need to cap the guest list at 100-110, so the sooner you get in touch the better.
Alberich/Klingsor has very kindly added one of my puzzles to Free Crosswords Online here (homepage): http://www.alberichcrosswords.com/ or, more directly,: http://www.alberichcrosswords.com/pages/hearaids.html
I’m now going to be away for a week with very limited internet access, so just a heads up about two forthcoming puzzles. Elkamere returns to the Telegraph Toughie this Thursday 28th June, while Anax provides yet another(!) prize puzzle in the Independent on Saturday 30th June.
Have a good week everyone. I should be back ‘in full effect’ as they say late on 4th July.
PS: Not sure why the links above are unclickable; you’ll need to copy/paste into your address bar. Apologies for that.
June has been an unusually busy month for my little cryptic production line, today’s Sunday Times puzzle being the 6th of 8 puzzles in its 30 days. It would be nice to have this many every month! Anyway, hope you enjoy today’s effort, and I’ll give you the heads up as the final two puzzles approach.
Indeed. The second of three Saturday Indy slots this month.