Monday, December 23, 2013

T’is the Season to be Jolly

Ronald Searle – St Trinian’s girls mug Santa

As a contrast to my state of health and mind at this time last year, when I was recovering from a nasty dose of the flu, this evening finds me chipper and in good spirits and looking forward to Christmas.

The image above kind of matches my rather jaundiced view of the season, after my email account has been battered by every site, on which I am on the mailing list, sending constant messages about Christmas specials. I bought all my presents ages ago, so their pleas for me to buy their goods leave me cold and unresponsive.

But to mark the occasion on my blog, I thought I would put up a seasonal crossword for my blog readers to puzzle over.

Firstly a bit of history.

Back in 1989, a drinking buddy of mine who was also a cryptic crossword enthusiast, decided that he would have a go at creating one himself. Not to be outdone, I followed suit, and from then on we both produced cryptic crosswords for several years, and distributed them to fellow crossword enthusiasts at the pub we frequented back in those days.

At first, as I didn’t have a computer until 1994, I used to hand draw the crossword pattern,  painstakingly colour the black squares with a texta pen, then type the clues on a typewriter. After that I would physically paste the typed document and crossword grid onto a fresh piece of paper and photocopy it.

After getting a computer I created my crosswords using a nifty shareware program called Crossword Compiler. Amazingly, that old shareware program still works on my current computer as I used it today to create the solution to the crossword below.

xmas crossword96

Please click on the image to enlarge it and print it out if you want to have a bash at solving it.  Most (not all) of the words relate to 13 across, the answer to which is Christmas.

I’ll put up the solution after Christmas.

With that, wishing Merry Christmas to you all.


Ann ODyne said...

Yes, my inbox also battered by every business which ever got my email. So bad that I spent a huge block of time going round them all and clicking 'UNsubscribe". Ha!

If I had your email I would put it on the list for access to AOD, closed due to an online stalker.
my bwican email is in the profile at my Worn Out blog please say hi for a reply.
LOVE the late Ronald Searle and every darn thing he ever did.
Wishing you safe and happy holiday season x x

Whispering Gums said...

Oh love this. I tried free crossword compilers a few times for special parties with wordy friends but never found one as good as this one. Anyhow, we will give it a bash over the next day or so.

Meanwhile, hope you have a great Christmas.

Anne S said...

Hi Ann & Mrs Gums, Merry Christmas.

Mrs Gums, I have quite a few of my own created crosswords which I have kept for years and years in hard copy.

If you liked the one I've put up here I can post a few others.

Ann, I sent you an email to your bwican address. I hope it went through.

Clare Dudman said...

Oooh, that's great, Anne. Just the thing to keep Hodmandod Senior amused after he's finished the Private Eye one!

I hope you're having a very happy holiday!