Archive for the Crosswords Category

Everyman in Cardiff, Azed in Maynooth

Posted in Biographical, Crosswords on July 8, 2018 by telescoper

As soon as I’d finished today’s Everyman Crossword in the Observer (which, together with a cup of coffee, is how I get my brain in gear on Sunday mornings) I walked into town to get the bus to Cardiff Airport. After some confusion (caused by an event called the Velothon) I managed to locate the correct bus stop and I was on my way back to Maynooth. It was very warm today in Cardiff and the airport was very busy, but at least the air conditioning was working so it was quite cool inside the departure lounge.

The flight was half an hour late, and very full, but I got a window seat over the wing. I took the picture as we passed over Cardigan Bay. If you look closely you can see the Llŷn Peninsula off in the distance.

I got back to Maynooth via the Hopper Bus from Dublin Airport at about 4pm, did a bit of shopping, and then had a go at the Observer’s Azed crossword. This is usually a far stiffer challenge than Everyman, and is the puzzle I usually do on Sunday evenings. Today’s wasn’t too tricky though.

I think however, that this is the first time I have done crosswords from the same paper on the same day either side of the Irish sea!

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Past Crossword Prize

Posted in Biographical, Crosswords on June 30, 2018 by telescoper

I was tidying up my desk at home this morning in preparation for the big move when I came across this little cutting. I think this was the first crossword prize I ever won, from the Guardian. Note that the reward back then was a (Swiss) watch rather than the succession of dictionaries I’ve collected in the subsequent years. If I recall correctly they sent me a catalogue from which to pick a watch.

The current Guardian Prize crossword is number 27549, and the one in the picture is 19742; according to my calculations that must have been published about 25 years ago, which fits with the location of Bethnal Green, where I lived from 1991 to 1998…

If anyone can find out exactly when Guardian Prize Crossword No. 19742 was published and, more importantly, who the setter was, I’d be very interested!

Dictionary Distribution Day

Posted in Biographical, Cardiff, Crosswords, Uncategorized on January 30, 2018 by telescoper

This set of dictionaries arrived last week while I was in Maynooth.

These – along with £15 in book tokens which arrived a while ago – form the prize for the Everyman Crossword competition in the Observer I won earlier this month.

Fortunately, my friendly neighbours accepted delivery of the books while I was out and I collected the parcel from them last night after work. I took them into work today and distributed them gratis to deserving members of the School of Physics & Astronomy before my first Physics of the Early Universe lecture this morning. I’ve got plenty of dictionaries already, you see.

I wonder if I’ll win any more before I move to Ireland?

The Crossword Puzzle Sketch

Posted in Crosswords with tags , , on January 13, 2018 by telescoper

Fifty years old, and starring the wonderful Beryl Reid, here’s a classic sketch about (of all things) … crosswords!

New Year’s Eve Post

Posted in Crosswords on December 31, 2017 by telescoper

Well, this year has been rounded off nicely with a win in the Everyman Crossword Competition:

In due course I’ll be distributing largesse in the form of a new set of dictionaries like these..


Other than that, it’s chucking it down here in Cardiff so the rest of New Year’s Eve will involve me staying in, drinking a cocktail or two, eating steak and chips with a nice bottle of Amarone, and doing today’s  Azed puzzle.

Let me just take this opportunity to wish you all out there a happy, peaceful, and prosperous 2018!

Prize Port

Posted in Biographical, Crosswords with tags , , on October 20, 2017 by telescoper

Way back in July I went to the Third Day’s Play of the Test Match between England and South Africa. On the way to the ground I bought a copy of Money Week, a publication I have never read before, as requested by my old friend and regular commenter on this blog, Anton, who got the tickets for the match. During a lull in the play we did the crossword in the magazine, which was a not-too-difficult thematic puzzle. When I got back to Cardiff I posted off the solution, as a prize of a bottle of vintage port was on offer. Not hearing any more, forgot about it.

When I got back from India this week there was a card waiting for me saying that ParcelForce had attempted to deliver a package while I was away. This morning I went to the main post office to sign for it and pick it up. This is what I got:

I don’t know why it took so long to deliver the prize but it makes a nice change from the usual dictionaries!

Crossed Words

Posted in Crosswords with tags , , on August 6, 2017 by telescoper

I’m abroad at the moment so failed to take my regular Sunday morning stroll to the local newsagent to pick up a copy of the Observer. I had to rely on Twitter, therefore, to tell me that I’ve won another prize in the Everyman competition.

It looks like I’ll be distributing some more dictionaries when I get back to Cardiff! Unfortunately, though, the books will probably arrive before I return so I’ll have to traipse off to the sorting office to collection them…

Incidentally, in the last Azed competition (No. 2351) I got a `Highly Commended’ for my clue for the (somewhat obscure) target word RHAGADES:

Root has a northern-style slash at ones not on cracks (8)

As usual, though, the winning clues were far better than mine! I won’t have time to do the latest competition puzzle, which is a shame because it involves a Playfair codeword, like the one I blogged about here.

P.S. The rubric for the latest Azed puzzle refers to `four clues in italics’ but I don’t see any clues in italics (at least in the online version)…