Cruciverbalism

This morning as I was in a state of half-asleep-half-awake it came to me. WAGE BILL.  The only clue* I had not solved in yesterday’s Guardian cryptic crossword as published in the Canberra Times.  I often have trouble with Enigmatist’s puzzles so it was with a sense of accomplishment that I completed the puzzle this morning before tackling today’s offering.  Of the Guardian crossword setters, I like best the works of Araucaria and Paul.  So it was a delight to see that today’s puzzle was set by Paul.  I was able to complete that together with the much easier Gimini Cryptic crossword, the quick crossword and the Sudoku within 2 hours.

I often wondered why a crossword setter would choose the pseudonym “Paul”.  It seemed so unimaginative.  Then I visited his site and learned the origin of  “Paul”.  It is the setter’s trubite to his older brother who died in a car accident at around the time the setter was getting his crosswords published.  Quite moving.

I think the best pseudonym chosen by a crossword setter is “DUMPYNOSE” whose puzzles appear in that right-wing piece of rubbish, The Spectator. “Dumpynose” is an anagram of pseudonym -the perfect pseudonym for a cryptic crossword setter.

As I spend a couple of days a week looking after grandchildren, I have come to learn many things that I had not anticipated.  Such as the names of the Wiggles, the Tellytubbies, the characters from In the Night Garden.  One must know these things in order to conduct conversations with the little ones.  In yesterday’s puzzle, my knowledge that one of the tellytubbies was named “LaLa” was essential**.

* 2D. Buff will pick up Spooner’s cost to employer (4,4). (Think Buff = beige; BEIGE WILL = Wage Bill to Spooner; and a wage bill is a cost to employer.

** 9A. Energy shown by Tellytubby writer in battle scene (2,7) – (energy “E” shown by Tellytubby (“LALA”) writer “ME” in “IN” gives the answer  ” El Alamein”, a battle scene.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dru
    Apr 25, 2010 @ 19:00:00

    Blimey, I’d be pretty chuffed if I’d solved those… on a good day I can manage the Telegraph crossie. Lightweight, me 🙂

    Reply

  2. Charles Gulotta
    May 29, 2010 @ 11:27:40

    I do the cryptic puzzle in Canada’s Globe and Mail. Some days I can complete the whole thing in less than an hour, and other days I can barely get half of it. They don’t tell you the puzzlemaker’s name on any given day, but I can certainly tell the difference — it’s like different wavelengths that you can either tune into or you can’t.

    Nice blog!

    Reply

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