People often say to me ‘In your profession you must know a lot’.
Then they get to know me.
Sometimes I am not the sharpest tool in the box. Though I have claimed to be the sharpest tool when out of my box.
I used to like the occasional beer. I have to say, during those years, I can’t remember writing a single good clue while under the influence. I would always – and still do – carry a pen and paper in my pocket, for when inspiration might strike. But then, fished from the depths of fluffy pockets the morning after, those ideas and half-ideas scrawled on scraps rarely failed to disappoint.
Looking back, I’m pretty sure at the time I chose to use more anagram indicators synonymous with sozzledom. And pubs provided comedy and tragicomedy in equal measure.
But I did need inspiration from somewhere.
I have also taken quite a few courses in life training. Life is transformed, much, much more fun, and I laugh more. I moan and wallow less, and have far less time for moaners, wallowers, and for those being a victims of their circumstances. All in all, I can be a right pain in the neck.
And my clues are less cynical. I’m far less likely to have a cheap dig at public figures.
Unless the opportunity is too good to miss.
Some news items should be, rightly, avoided. Writing a current clue to which the answer is ‘Houston, we have a problem’, for example. Unacceptable. And should a Russian aircraft, God forbid, come down, ‘What remains of Aeroflot’s ambitions (7)’ is an unacceptable reference to a potential airline disaster.
However, and this is just my opinion, and carries no more weight than any opinion may carry, especially mine:
Lord Archer now with New Labour (2-3) answer: Ex-con…. is fair game.
PS: There will be another such public figure reference in The Guardian , on March 1. Have a lovely day!