Front Page Cryptic Crosswords

So, cryptic crosswords hits the front page. It may be the first time, but it won’t be the last.

First of all, many thanks to all those who came. And let’s get these talks going around the country. Contact your favourite setter. Hire halls, and invite us.  And why not consider hosting a talk yourself! I can send you a ‘How To ‘ should you wish.

If you love what you do and just have fun with people, an audience will always go home happy.

Personally, I would be delighted to host a talk, if you can find 100 people or more, and if the event is in aid of a good cause, a charity that inspires you.

Let’s keep crosswords on the front page. We can do extraordinary things with words. Words make peace, and make war; words make love, and words make sticky toffee pudding. And custard.

Anything’s possible, through words. Sometimes letters are not enough. The clue ‘hot, yellow sauce (7) _ USTARD’ could also be ‘mustard’.

So we need more than just a letter. Words rule.

And let’s use fun ones.

‘Bouncy’ is my current favourite. What’s yours? Be fun and share.

Do tell friends about cryptic crosswords, and encourage them to solve a clue. And tell enemies too – if you know what’s good for them.

Give them all an easy, but fun, clue. But don’t tell them it’s easy first! And also give them an example in advance! so they know how those sorts of clues work.

Perhaps short anagram clues, or hidden answers, are the simplest for a beginner. Tweet them. Try them on Facebook. Text them to unsuspecting friends.

The gorgeous smile breaking across the face of the virgin solver on solving his/her first clue, never fails to bring joy. People who thought they didn’t have the brain for it, or perhaps even considered themselves to be stupid, now get, in that moment, that they can do it. And that anything’s possible.

A new solver will love you forever for introducing them to the entertaining and mysterious world of the cryptic crossword.

Best wishes,

John (Paul)



One response to “Front Page Cryptic Crosswords

  1. Cryptic solvers – I need your help. I want to collect all the ‘double-barrel’ clues ever constructed. Here’s my own example:
    Reconstruct: foster natural landscape (6)
    Reconstruct: foster natural landscape (9)
    In other words, the exact same clue but two legitimate different solutions. I only know of one other example so far but I keep getting told it’s an old device(!)
    Please send me your examples or post them here:

    Sorry for the intrusion and thanks in advance for your help!


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