One’s Blue Period.

Let’s talk smut.

I am often told my work in The Guardian is littered with instances of the

I’d included entries in one particular puzzle including… Scunthorpe,
Chardonnay, Mishit, Horsemen, Widow Twankey and Hot Water.  Perhaps this was
unwise, in retrospect.

But the art of creating a cryptic crossword so lends itself to these things.

The indicators we use to suggest the type of clue include ‘insertions’ and
‘penetrations’ (of and by words) and the reversal (or taking from behind) of

Then there are anagram indicators.

Any synonym of ‘drunk’ ‘mad’ or ‘messed up’ may be employed – and the less
puritan of you may be able to think of some naughty examples.

‘Great female performer keen to be taken from behind (4)’ for DIVA is a clue
on my ‘to do’ list, but I expect not to put forward for publication.

One must always make a judgement, but I don’t always get that right, I

Still, I am told that solvers like this stuff – perhaps those who don’t
aren’t writing in, or have defected to other newspapers.

The bottom line is, I’m trying to entertain. I do hope I manage that, at
least sometimes.

All the  best,

John (Paul)


14 responses to “One’s Blue Period.

  1. I’ve long imagined that, if Brummie/Cyclops were to fancy some time off, or indeed retirement, you might be first in line to set the Private Eye crossword. They don’t exactly object to a bit of filth in the crossword in their, er, organ!

  2. Whilst I concede that many people don’t want to see these constructions, and that they are not appropriate for all publications, I happem to be a massive fan of smut, particularly in the (arguably) highbrow world of the cryptic crossword, and you are one of the finest exponents IMO. I am also enjoying some excellent smuttage in a monthly magazine of which I am sure some of us are familiar!

  3. Excellent, thanks for that most entertaining. Now where did I put Lord Gnome’s organ?

  4. You can’t beat a bit of smut in a crossword clue!

  5. Thank you you all!


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  11. Since it’s anonymous, I can here happily admit to an admiration for the Craptic crossword in Viz, set by the inimitable Anus. Naturally, the thing is full of smut and filth, and some of the clues are, well, crap — but some are brilliant. One of my favourites:

    Phallic? (3,5,2,6,2,4)

    So, yes. I’m quite happy with a bit of blue.

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