I had a puzzle up on Monday in Rookie Corner. (Go to the puzzle, or the comments/solution/spoilers.) It went down a lot better than my first effort there, with some nice comments on quite a lot of the clues. Still a few niggles here and there, but that’s the point of the exercise, to get better. Given the theme, the number of comments(at time of writing…) was pleasing too.

Meanwhile, last night was the second meeting of the Bristol Crossword Club.
BXWC-Nov2019
I arrived to find someone in mid-solve of a crossword. It turned out that that was just a coincidence, and he wasn’t there for the club, but we shared a table, and Will and I gave David some tips on getting your head around cryptics. We solved the i’s cryptic from that day and then made a start on writing some clues for a grid I’d created. We’ll see if that comes together or not.
Next meet is on 10th December, from 19:30 at Grounded. All welcome!

The solution to my November crossword is in an image behind this link.

I started off trying to theme this puzzle around 10a, but couldn’t really get enough specific answers into the grid. So the theme slackened a bit, and I included things like 9a, 3d, 4d – generally “stuff becoming ever-more important”. Bit wishy-washy, but there you go. 10a was my favourite clue, aided by the fact that I realised I could falsely capitalise the H.

December’s puzzle is just about coming together. About 5 or so clues left that need a good hammering. I might take a break from it, and start a new grid today. Meanwhile, I’m going to have a puzzle published in a cricket magazine. More news on that when it’s out. And I should have a new puzzle in Rookie Corner soon too.

It’s the next meet of Bristol Crossword Club on Tuesday, and we may have a go at doing some setting.
TTFN.

Forward! Here’s my latest monthly puzzle. (Scroll down for browser-playable version.) Hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Soup for a test-solve, and some suggestions for tweaks and improvements. Feedback, comments and whatnot welcome as ever on email or Twitter. Solution will go up here in a week’s time.

Meanwhile, I have three (!) other crosswords in various pipelines. Hopefully at least one of them will surface shortly. All that lot means I’ve dropped back a little in my schedule, so I’m a touch behind on my December puzzle. Not too much though, so back to work on that…

Ciao!

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Embedded playable puzzle: If relevant, use the cogwheel/settings menu to turn off the clock, and untick “skip over filled letters”, and the main menu to Save.

For a while I’d been wondering if there was any mileage in a crossword club meeting in Bristol. There must be some cruciverbalists in this city. After having a natter with a tweeter, and noticing he was based in the same locale, I floated the idea, and he was up for it.
Bristol Crossword Club
So, last night was the inaugural meeting of the Bristol Crossword Club. Will and I met up in a late-opening cafe, chatted a bit about our respective crosswording escapades, and had a crack at each other’s puzzles. Then we teamed up to try that day’s Guardian Cryptic (from Nutmeg). We got to within 1 or 2 clues of finishing by the end of the night. (Solution and explanations are on the blog at fifteen squared, if you want them.)

A fun evening’s solve, so we’ve decided to do it again. We’re going to meet every 2nd Tuesday of each month, so next up, it’s 12th November, from 19:30, at Grounded in Redfield. Come along and join us. If you’re new to cryptic crosswords, no problem, we’ll teach you how to start solving them!

The solution to my October puzzle is in a png behind this link.

No-one won the fiver. Did anyone try? I enjoyed being able to use Spooner in this way in 4d. Perhaps 27 was my favourite, for the surface. I also liked 4a, but wonder if others would have been annoyed by it.

Meanwhile the crossword I submitted didn’t quite have a strong enough theme for the mag, so it’ll probably surface here as my November puzzle. Which leaves me plenty of time to work on strengthening my theming for the next one.

In other news, tonight is the inaugural meeting of the Bristol Crossword Club. Hopefully that’ll go well (if not large), and it’ll build.

It’s that time again. Here’s my October puzzle for you to enjoy/wrangle/love/loathe. Scroll down for the browser-solvable version.

£5 prize for the first correct solution sent to me by Twitter DM, or by email. (Offer ends at 14:00 8/10/2019, which is when I’ll post the solution.)

I had some positive feedback on the puzzle I submitted… hopefully that might emerge into the light soon. Comments on this one welcome, by email or Twitter (no spoilers!), as per usual. I think the 1Across forum might be going the way of all flesh soon, but it’s still there as I type.

Right then, off you go…

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Embedded playable puzzle: Use the cogwheel/settings menu to turn off the clock, and untick “skip over filled letters”, and the main menu to Save.

The solution to my September puzzle can be found here.

4, 7 & 16 were clues that had fallen out of previous puzzles, so this one was built up and around those. From which, you can deduce that they were my favourites. Shame about the double-unchecked squares, and from now on I’ll try my hardest to avoid having any of those. Third appearance for Ovid, who’s an excellent anagram on his own. 🙂

Here’s my latest puzzle, as printable png, or as in-browser solvable puzzle. Hope you enjoy. I hang out on 1 Across and Twitter, if you want to give any feedback. The solution will go up on this blog in one week’s time.

I’ve recently submitted a puzzle for possible publication somewhere. Hoping to hear back about that soon…

Use the settings menu to turn off the clock, and skipping over letters. Remember to use Save in the menu if you have more than one session at it.

The solution to my August crossword is in an image behind this link.

Three answers were nods to specific people (*waves*). 5 was quite horrible to clue, but I liked where I got to in the end. 21 has a bit of dated knowledge required, maybe not one for the young’uns, but I didn’t want to go with the more obvious reference. 18 was my favourite. Right, toodle-oo!

Edit: Oh, I’ve just noticed that there’s a Nina down there. Entirely unintentional, but perhaps it was a subconscious tribute to Rutger Hauer. (It’s not easy being a dolphin.) And well done if you get any of those references.

Edit 2: Oh blimey, there’s another one! Well, just about. How bizarre.

Here’s my August puzzle. I ended up having three puzzles on the go at once, and this was originally pegged to be my October puzzle, but I decided to move it up the queue. Any feedback welcome. I’ll be on holiday next week, but I’ll schedule a post with the answers to pop up next Thursday.

Here it is as a printable png, or a browser-solvable embed below (Use the settings menu to turn off the clock, and skipping over letters. Remember to use Save in the menu if you have more than one session at it.).

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