Crossword News October 2018


Last month our Prize Puzzle was DEORR by Rebus. The title was a cryptic clue to alphabetical order and the undefined lights were all the names of alphabets.

Here are some of the comments from solvers.

This was an enjoyable solve with the PDM initiated by realising that BRAHMI was an undefined clue. The other alphabets were spotted (with Bradford's help) fairly soon thereafter. I should have been more canny about the preamble's comment about clues being presented thematically. The last revelation was the puzzle's title - I should have put this in order earlier.  Thanks to Rebus.

A pleasant solve: the thematic order became obvious fairly quickly, but it took longer to spot the connection between the thematic answers (or indeed to spot them at first).  That combined with finding the right place for entries made it an interesting challenge.  Particularly liked the clues to BESTRIDE and NAGARI.

A fun challenge!

A ervy abeejlnoy epluzz, ahknt ouy beRsu

There were 47 entries and all were correct. The lucky winner, picked from the electronic hat, was Ian Thompson, from Victoria, Australia, who will be receiving a copy of Chambers Complete Crossword Lists, which was donated by Chambers.

You can find a solution to DEORR at

You still have lots of time to complete and submit your entry for the October competition, Flowers by Flowerman.  Our Prize Puzzle for November is 481914-11111918 by Gnomie.

We are also delighted to offer for November one of Eric Westbrook’s 3D crosswords, In Search of a Hero by Sirius. Eric is offering a prize of £100 for the winner drawn from the hat.

Eric sends us this reminder of the great work he is doing for charity.

For 2019, as usual, we have another twelve 3D crosswords set on the frame of the calendar year. Each day has a clue to solve, each month a three-dimensional crossword grid to complete in a prize competition. The puzzles are clued by eleven of the best crossword setters in the UK and beyond, plus one setter from another star system – which we think is probably unique.

Each month bears a gorgeous photograph by Graham Fox. In addition, there are cryptic visual clues by Frank Paul, author and artist of ‘The Cryptic Pub Quiz’.

Successful solvers qualify for The Tie-Break Competition to determine who will be the next BBC Children in Need Appeal 3D Crosswords World Champion. That is a snappy title.

It could be you!

The project is presented at:

It seems unlikely that there will be a printed calendar for 2019 so do download the puzzles and make a donation.

We have happy memories of our colleague, Trevor Crowther, who died three years ago. His college, Keble College, Oxford, have recently recorded this obituary.

Trevor Mostyn Crowther

Trevor Crowther was born in Liverpool on 5 November 1953, the only son of Neville, Assistant County Surveyor at Hampshire County Council, and Betty. He moved to Winchester with his parents in 1962.

He attended Peter Symonds School in Winchester, leaving in the early 70s to study Chemistry at Keble College, Oxford where he joined the John Wesley Society making a number of close friends. On leaving Oxford Trevor moved to Burnham Beeches and forged a successful career in marketing.  His first job was with Neilson’s where he remained until he was head hunted to join AGB; he stayed with AGB for many years, having marketing responsibility for a number of high-profile accounts.

After he left AGB Trevor moved back to Winchester and more recently became a much-respected member of the crossword community, providing support to crossword editors on a variety of broadsheet papers. For many years Trevor was a marker for competitions and tester for submissions for the Crossword Centre, an on-line crossword site. He was well renowned for his on line “Moanday” or Monday Moan session and, after his death, Trevor’s crossword friends contributed to buying a silver-plated cup in his honour- to be awarded to the best solver of the year. “The Crowther Cup” contains the Latin inscription gemitus vincit omnia (a moan beats everything)! In an article in the Independent, published shortly after his death, Trevor was described as “wise, witty and stimulating”.

Trevor also enjoyed pub quizzes and quickly progressed to being a quiz master in his local pub. He had a great love of music, with wide ranging tastes extending from classical music through to pop and rock. He enjoyed travel, particularly in Europe, but loved nothing better than pottering in the garden and was known affectionately amongst his friends as “Trevor the Gardener”. Trevor died suddenly, at home, on 27th February 2015.
Next year’s Listener Crossword Setters’ Dinner will take place on Saturday 2nd March 2019, in the Gimcrack Suite at York Racecourse, YO23 1EX. Real ale will be available in the bar, beforehand and up to 12:30 am. If you expected to get an invitation and didn’t receive one, please get in touch with Jane Teather or John Henderson who are organising the 2019 event.
The York S & B will take place on the 26 – 28 October. I expect to turn up for the Saturday event at the Fox & Roman on Tadcaster Road to meet crossword friends and take part in the quiz. You can get all the details at
The Times Crossword Championship will take place on 3 November and everyone will be expecting current champion Mark Goodliffe to add another victory to his long-standing record. For those attending the event, solvers and followers will be meeting all day in the George Inn, The George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High St, Southwark, London SE1 1NH
Those of you who enjoyed the GCHQ Puzzle Book will be pleased to learn that another one is being published. The GCHQ Puzzle Book II will be published on the 18th October and I have made it our Book of the Month on the Crossword Centre.

Remember that any Amazon purchases made from links on the Crossword Centre will earn a small commission which helps us cover postage charges and running costs.
Currently it is possible to access the Spectator crossword without being a subscriber. I found this link worked for me.
The popular BBC series Only Connect is back on our screens on 22 October. They are now looking for contestants for the 2019 series, either as a team of three or individuals seeking like-minded team mates. To apply send an email to
The latest challenge on the CCCWC is to write a Printers Devilry clue to OPAL. You can get all the details at

Best wishes