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
All the best,