We met up last night for January’s Bristol Crossword Club meeting. Will suggested we try to solve the puzzle that had appeared in the recent BBC Dracula adaptation. (Story and link to puzzle here. Careful – the solution is printed upside down at the bottom of the page. Avert your eyes until you can cover it up.) It was quite a fun puzzle with appropriate answers. Then we had time to tackle one from a book of Telegraph puzzles I have. We managed to finish that one off too before the cafe started looking near-empty, and we took pity on the staff and left.
Next meeting is scheduled for Feb 11th, 19:30+, at Grounded again. We may try some setting again. So far it’s still just the two of us, so do come along and play. As ever, beginners are welcome, so don’t be scared if you’re new to cryptic crosswords. We’ll teach you how to get into them!
Sorry, I forgot to take a photo, so just imagine a felafel burger and some carrot cake, would you? Cheers.
The solution to my January puzzle is in an image behind this link.
I actually got some feedback on this one, so thanks to Matt, Panthera and Dave for that. It’s massively encouraging to even know that someone’s trying my puzzles. The general positive nature of the comments was nice too.
4d was picked up on as being a bit quirky, which is fair comment, but I think it was just about “fair”. 12 was almost exactly the same as a clue that went out in a puzzle in The Guardian published 2 days before mine. Pipped to it! I wasn’t sure if the definition in 8 needed a tweak or an added adjective, but nothing smooth came to me, so I left it. Didn’t seem to stop the solving. 27 felt a bit silly… but what’s wrong with a bit of silliness every now and then? 🙂 No-one mentioned it, but 22 was my favourite, for the surface. Then again the reference is quite obscure, so no surprises there.
Next meeting of the Bristol Crossword Club is this Tuesday, so do pop in if you’re local.
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.
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 14th January, 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.
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.
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!