Many of you will know Neil Talbott, if not in person then at least by reputation. Neil’s crossword-solving skills are pretty good, as a glance at the Magpie stats will show, and a glance at the Listener stats will confirm. Like many of us, Neil has interests outside crosswords. Unlike many of us, those include (more…)
Here Mark Goodliffe, Times crossword solving champion and Magpie editor, gives a little insight into the thought processes that led him to his sixth championship win in 2012. (more…)
Welcome to Nerdsville, Croatia and the 2012 World Puzzle Championship. With a grandstand view of the island of Krk, it is a place with no vowels, but for one week only the world’s highest concentration of anoraks. Most of you have been to crossword gatherings so you know exactly what I mean. Compared with some of these guys, I’m (more…)
A month ago, a casual glance at the UK Puzzle Association online forum alerted me to the fact that within a week there would be a Sudoku/Kenken competition taking place as part of the annual Mind Sports Olympiad in London. I had won the only crossword event held at the MSO, back in 2001. (more…)
Many thanks to everyone whose suggestions were received on our finances and marketing, following our request for ideas in the February editorial.
We met last week to consider all the ideas put forward, and formed some conclusions about avenues we wished to explore. The first thing to say is (more…)
First of all, a slight retraction. I wrote in the editorial to Issue 101 that the GCHQ Challenge seemed likely to be less of a challenge than the Magpie. This was based, as I admitted, on having a go at a few of the puzzles that showed up early on during the challenge, and finding them to be (more…)
I believe we’re not allowed to reprint it here, but I’d like to draw the attention of subscribers to Simon Anthony’s open letter to Simon Long, on The Times’s letters page today. And in pleading with Simon L to stop solving the Listener AFTER the record has been broken, I don’t think Simon A can be accused of self-interest!
February 1st 1930 saw the publication of the first Times Crossword, and this event is commemorated at least twice in the media this year. Firstly the Times is publishing three historical puzzles to intrigue its readers, from 1940, 1960 and 1980, and then The One Show, a daily BBC documentary magazine, is looking at the mystery of the cryptic crossword. (more…)
Greenland: where better to escape from everyday life? Or so I thought in early August, as I looked forward to a group walking holiday in the Tasiilaq area (more…)
This narrative is pretty close to the thought processes involved during the final of The Times Crossword Championship 2008. (more…)