Archive for the ‘Newsification’ Category

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

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

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)


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

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

Something MEATY for the weekend…   Leave a comment

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:


Posted March 8, 2013 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

And sometimes it just falls into place…   Leave a comment

Most of the guff I’ve written about crossword setting has mentioned that some answers force themselves into the grid because of checking letters, and that sometimes the hardest part is writing clues for these. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 12, 2013 by Anax in Newsification