EDitorial ± 8-Jan-2001

How To Get One Across

I'm sure it was my dad who got me into crosswords, about twenty years ago. Can't rightly remember which one we used to attempt (worringly, I think it might have been my mum's copy of Woman's Realm), though I suppose we must have somehow jumped the chasm that exists between straight clues, i.e. synonyms, to cryptic. I know that when I was in sixth-form, with a Saturday job in Debenham's, I'd buy a copy of the Telegraph at lunchtime simply so I could try that day's prize crossword when I got home. Never won, needless to say. Not even sure if I actually finished too many of them.

Like any number of things, I tend to go through phases of doing crosswords. I got the bug again most recently at Christmas, which is always a prime time for the so-called jumbo, a cryptic crossword three or four times the size of your typical daily effort. Although me and my father-in-law made good progress with the Guardian biggie (which had a J.S.Bach theme), we ran out of time, but I managed to complete the one in the Times. Even ran down the road to catch the post to send it off. Didn't win.

Times Jumbo Crossword 324
Here's some rather nice cryptic clues from this weekend's Times crossword:

Broadcast for the crew at sea (7,8)
Overlapping signs showing where books are (9)
Dream on till a don produces this sherry (11)
I solved these (brain the size of a planet): mail me if you can work them out.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Down, across, but rarely diagonally:

  1. remember that old Reader's Digest column, Increase Your Word Power?
  2. treat yourself to a shiny new dictionary for 2001
  3. use plain English: eschew obfuscation
Be seeing you!