Crossword News February 2017
The January Prize Puzzle was Sad by Chalicea. This puzzle was based on
the six word novel attributed to Ernest Hemingway. Extra letters gave
SIX WORD STORY AND WRITER TO WHOM IT WAS ATTRIBUTED requiring solvers
to highlight FOR SALE BABY SHOES NEVER WORN and ERNEST HEMINGWAY. A
full solution and notes are available at
There were 68 entries and only one was adjudged incorrect. The marker
fairly decided that there was only one noteworthy Hemingway and marked
entries correct if that was highlighted.
Here are some of the comments.
Thanks to Chalicea, whose puzzles always find an interesting theme, and
whose clueing is fair and never dull. It took me a little while to spot
the theme after I’d completed the grid. Hemingway appeared fairly
early on, but I got fixated on The Old Man And The Sea after noticing
THE and SEA in the downs, and deciding 6 x 3-letter words made good
thematic material. I finally recalled the 6-word story attributed to
Hemingway, but had to Google the exact wording. It made a satisfying
denouement to the puzzle.
This was quite a nice offering with the customary helping of generous
clues including lots of friendly anagrams. I might have felt a bit
short-changed at any other time of the year, but coming as it did
during a hectic spell it was just enough to provide a brief interlude.
My thanks to Chalicea
I wasn’t aware of this literary invention, though I think if it
had been cobbled up by Joe Blow in a Key West bar it might not have
quite the staying power conferred upon it by a more celebrated
boozer. My favourite in not-quite-the-same-genre was a
prizewinner in a New Statesman competition donkey’s years ago
where a story was to be told using the titles of three films:
On the Beach
A Farewell to Arms
You still have time to complete our February Prize Puzzle, Nicene Creed by Flowerman.
The lucky winners picked from the electronic hat were Albert & Gail
Busza who will soon be receiving a prize donated by Chambers.
In March there will be two puzzles to entertain you. After a long
absence Urchin returns to give us his Bottomless Cubes. This reworking
of a famous Listener crossword certainly tested our testers!
There is also Primes by Gnomie which is a lovely logical maths puzzle.
As usual we welcome submissions. All puzzles will be tested
sympathetically. Remember to send puzzle and solution in separate
documents and we prefer Word (.doc) format.
On the 11th March lots of crossword setters will be assembling in
Gateshead for the annual Listener Dinner at Jury's quayside hotel. I
shall be there and I am looking forward to meeting friends old and new.
It has become a tradition for people to meet on the Friday evening and
Saturday afternoon in a nearby pub. Although pub has not been decided
yet, John Henderson has promised to announce it on the Crossword Centre
message board after he has done a recce on the Friday morning.
The New York Times celebrated the 75th anniversary of its crossword on
the 15th February. You can read more about it and watch a video at this
You may know that I occasionally tweet as @dzharrison. I thought you'd
like to know of other crossword enthusiasts who have Twitter accounts.
Here is a list but you may want to suggest others.
John Henderson, Inquisitor editor and setter @enigmatistelgar
Richard Rogan, Times crossword editor @timescrosswords
John Tozer of &Lit and the Azed Archive who posts a clue of the day @AndlitTwit
Dean Mayer, Anax etc @anaxcrosswords
Chris Lancaster, EV editor @SamuelTheSetter