Goodbye to Azed

Having a bit of a tidy up on the blog earlier today, I noticed today that it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything in the category marked “crosswords”.

The reason for this is that the responsibilities I acquired with my current position have made it quite difficult to find the time to indulge my passion for cruciverbalism if I’m also going to keep this blog going. In fact, I’ve recently made a decision to ditch a puzzle that has been a favourite for some time, Azed in the Observer.

Some time ago I stopped getting the Guardian on Saturday and switched to the Independent. That has been quite rewarding because I’ve taken to the Indy crossword and have won the prize a number of times. I’ve lost count how many, actually, but it’s probably about twenty. The prize on each occasion was a dictionary, the same dictionary, and I’ve given most of them away.

I persevered with the Observer, chiefly because of Azed, but I’m afraid the quality of the paper has deteriorated as quickly as its price has increased. I therefore decided, with some regret, to switch to the Independent on Sunday. I find this is a much more compact and better written newspaper with, as a friend of mine accurately summed it up, “much less shite in it” than the Observer.

The Independent on Sunday has a normal prize cryptic (similar to the Saturday one) in the paper and another one, Beelzebub, in the magazine, which is similar in style of both grid and clues to Azed, nicely done but perhaps a little less challenging. There isn’t a monthly clue-writing competition either; since I always struggled to find the time and inspiration to offer decent clues I think it’s just as well that I admit defeat and withdraw from that competition. Perhaps I’ll return to it when I’ve got more spare time, which is only likely to happen when I’m retired..

P.S. Incidentally you can find the circulation figures of UK newspapers here. The Observer and the Independent on Sunday have both fallen precipitously since ~ 2007.

7 Responses to “Goodbye to Azed”

  1. Time constraints apart, you can still solve the crossword online (or print it out and do it on paper) without having to trawl through all the $#!+e.

    http://www.theguardian.com/crossword/azed

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, but I prefer to sit ina comfy chair with my coffee and the folded newspaper…it’s not the same doing a crossword online!

      • Print it out, attach it to an appropriately folded copy of The Independent using a paper clip and solve away!

  2. Sarah Bayley Says:

    I agree with you about the Guardian, I have recently switched from it to The Times. Partly because I have an Android tablet and The Times has a good app for it, but also I was getting fed up of the Guardian and its self-righteousness. Alas, my crossword time has disappeared in the last 5 years – I must get back into them again.

  3. […] About two years ago I stopped buying the Observer on Sundays and switched to the Independent on Sunday. That decision was largely based on the cost of the paper rather than the quality of the crossword, but I ended up trading the Observer’s Azed and (easier) Everyman for the Sunday Independent’s Beelzebub and (easier) OUP Prize Cryptic. It’s paid off in terms of prizes – I’ve completely lost count of the number of dictionaries I’ve won from the Independent competitions. […]

  4. […] the Independent on Sunday have ceased to exist, at least in their print editions.  It was about three years ago that I switched from the Observer to the Independent on Sunday, which involved switching from the […]

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