January 31st 2016 -
I’ve just finished my first cryptic crossword, the third one out of a book (“Puzzle People Cryptic Crosswords #120”). I’m getting a little hooked.
It all started with David Astle’s book “Puzzled”, which I got after he’d joined the lunchtime gang’s puzzle team for SUMS in 2014. A couple of friends are quite into cryptics (David K, David C, Geoff B) and whenever we’ve done puzzle competitions I’ve left the cryptic style stuff to them, and with David Astle on the team that year I just listened in amazement. Anyway, his book was very interesting, but as has been the way of things in the past five years, I read the first chapter and put it down and didn’t get back to it.
Then I talked to one of Von’s co-workers who’d just taken up cryptics, and suddenly decided to push on. Serendipitously, I went to Newcastle on holidays recently with some friends, one of whom was quite into cryptics. We solved a cryptic puzzle together (using an app “Conspire” to keep track), and I continued powering through “Puzzled” and now… this may be a habit.