Telescoper Crossword Competition

Having had a busy weekend reading grant applications and referee reports in advance of next week’s meeting of the Astronomy Grants Panel, I’ve been unusually late completing the weekend’s crosswords. As I mentioned a while ago, I’ve given up buying the Guardian in favour of the Independent, whose crosswords are much better in my opinion. I managed to do the prize crossword in the newspaper without too much difficulty, but the magazine supplement has a much more testing one called Inquisitor. In addition to being quite a challenging cryptic crossword, this usually has a twist in that one has to highlight (or sometimes delete) letters entered into the grid according to some theme. I’m a bit skeptical about these extra tasks, I suppose because I think a good crossword doesn’t need any such embellishments. I have to say, though, that it is  a different kind of challenge from the usual cryptic and I might warm to it given time.

About a year ago at the Azed 2000 dinner I had the opportunity to chat with some professional crossword compilers. It seems one gets paid around £150 (give or take) for setting a crossword in a national newspaper which isn’t a lot considering how difficult it is. One of the features of the Azed puzzles in the Observer is the monthly clue-setting competition, which I enjoy entering, but I’ve never tried to compile an entire crossword.

However, after finishing this week’s Azed  and Inquisitor puzzles I suddenly hit on a potentially lucrative idea. I’ve decided to start a crossword competition of my own. Here  is Telescoper Prize Crossword No. 1, inspired by Azed’s “Carte Blanche” puzzles…

Instructions for solvers. To enter the competition, devise a set of clues and solutions that fill the above grid in the manner of a typical Azed puzzle. Mail completed grids, together with clues to me at:  Telescoper Prize Crossword No. 1, PO Box 16  (across), Cardiff. The best entries, as judged by me, will win 27p in (used) postage stamps plus the chance to see their crossword in a national newspaper with my name as setter.

As a business plan, this simply can’t fail. It’s nearly as good as running an academic journal!

2 Responses to “Telescoper Crossword Competition”

  1. hI Telescoper long time no contact. I’m glad you are enjoying the Inquisitor seriies -they are by far my most favourite crosswords. I will do my best to come up with something re your grid. This reminds me of a crossword I set for a group of ‘political’ friends in order to raise funds. The fee to enter was £!.00 and the prize was £5.00. Nobody and I mean nobody in the 80 odd membership completed the puzzle and some even asked for their stake back! Dont know what that says about them or my clueing skills, which I see do not even come near yours as I see your name more and more regularly in the Azed stakes. Well done.
    Liz

  2. Peter – further to the above – if you look at the ‘fifteen squared’ website you will see a big crossword meet in Derby on 26th November. Lunch and lots of booze with famous setters/solvers/bloggers – last meeting was brilliant – and a fiendish puzzle to solve on the day. It would be great to meet up with you again. Or contact me directly on email if you want more information.
    Liz

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