Everyone Loves Cryptics – but some don’t yet know it!

I’m on a train.

I’m told train journeys are very good for creative thinking.

‘Thinking’ – unlike Henry VIII, who was a fat one.

Getting back on track (thank you for noticing my train journey punning), I’m off to Heathrow. Actually, I once knew a chap who spent 3 years at Heathrow. Or was that on Death Row? What a difference a letter makes. At least that’s what I’ve come to learn, for I used to write to him.

Not sure the letters ever reached him though, as I sent them to Heathrow.

Anyhow, I’m visiting my very good friend Vince, in Ibiza, who has recently moved there from Hackney.

Actually, moving ‘from Hackney to Ibiza’ gives you ’I’m nth fairycake bozo’. Does this matter to him?

Not a jot. I have tried to get him into cryptic crosswords. And failed. I have tried to get every person I’ve ever met into cryptic crosswords. And – usually – failed.

Here is my technique:

‘Oh my god, you must get into cryptics . They’re really brilliant. Wow, they’re so good. Hey, here’s a really great clue for you: ‘Huge deficit in fuel  – eight letters’.

It’s simple. You have to find a word that means ‘deficit’ and place it in a word that means ‘fuel’ to make a word that means ‘huge’.  LOSS in COAL. COLOSSAL! It’s so much fun!


1/ My grin and a pause.

2/ A mutual pause

3/  His ‘do you write su doku too?’

4/ My ‘no, they’re written by a computer, and are humourless.

5/ His ‘oh, oh dear’.


Perhaps I am a better setter than I am a teacher. I really do hope so.

Best wishes,

John (Paul)


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