Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cryptic Colossus

Pluto Puzzles: Cryptic Colossus

Reader Chris has created a humongous 37x37 cryptic crossword of his own, titled Cryptic Colossus. It's his first serious attempt at making a cryptic and he'd like feedback - have a go at the crossword and give him some critique.

There are other interesting word and number puzzles on the site too – visit Pluto Puzzles.

Doing Chris's crossword set me wondering: which is the largest cryptic crossword ever made? I don't have a ready answer, I hope one of you can tell. The largest published crossword that I solve occasionally is the Times Jumbo, a 23x23 grid.

I looked around the net for info, and landed on this page which states that it will host the "The World's Largest Cryptic Crossword" in July 2010. The About page says this will be a 37x53 grid with 360 clues. The site has a few teaser clues so far and a condensed image of the 37x53 grid. (What prompted creating a rectangle and not the usual square?)

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10 comments

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shuchi.

What prompted creating a rectangle and not the usual square?

So that it fills out an A4, maybe?

raju umamaheswar said...

Well, not yet, brother, you have yet to beat the largest ever. Soory for the disappointment.But this is no dampener to your efforts to create one and even l;arger ones.I'll certainly solve your creation and give you a feed back,shortly. I hold the world's largest crossword, and I do not know who else, unless anything new has since come about,as I acquired it way back in 1976. This was compiled by Stephen Robinson and has 11797 clues Across and 11757 clues Down. The Grid is one broad sheet of 50" by 50" and I had boarded it up for display on a wall in my living room. I could not find yet the time to solve it as it was not a good carpenter who did the work, hindering easy accessibility, and hence I'm waiting for the day when I can get down (or up on a chair?) to solve it. Again, during my transfer of residence to India from Kenya, this board got the worst of the vagaries of a sea voyage and I need to renovate and restore this piece of art. I tried to get another copy of this from the publishers of the day, during one of my visits to London, but didn't succeed to trace them.

Again, I also possess a non-cryptic largest Crossword of a similar size which I intend getting framed to adorn my living room. It is in mint cpondition, folded like a map.

Schuchi, yes indeed, The Times of London do on festive occasions come with the Cryptic and Quick crosswords -two-in-one,( Oh, How I hate these cumbersome ones!) and I have a good collection of them too, unsolved.

Thanks for bringing this news to all fellow-solvers, Schuchi and I'll wait for the Monster to come in July 2010. The Crossword editor called Kate Mepham of the Daily Telegraph of London had promised me last year that hshe too is working on a Monster Cryptic Crossword. She took over the mantle from her father, Mike Mepham. Their creations are mind-racking indeed.!!

Raju Umamaheswar

Shuchi said...

Hi raju

How about sharing a photo of your 50" by 50" crossword? Send it to me by email and I'll link to it from this post.

plutoman said...

Yes rectangular jumbos can be much more A4 (or A3!)-friendly than square ones.
I'll be the first to admit the Colossus isn't particularly A4-friendly! Anyone attempted at least part of it yet?

Shuchi said...

Hi Chris

Someone has sent me most of the solutions. I'll mail it across to you.

plutoman said...

Raju,

Bravo! Congratulations for completing the puzzle.
I obviously made it too easy :)
How long did it take you?

Anonymous said...

plutoman,

It was good fun doing the puzzle. I was able to do about 70%. Do you intend to post the solution sometime? It was just about the right level for not very experienced solvers like me.

raju umamaheswar said...

Plutoman:

It took me less than three hours to complete the whole grid with a couple of doubtful ones. I could have done it much quicker, but I had printed your grid and clues in smaller prints, as small as these here and hence it was a bit of a bother. Again, there were too many easy anagrams for my comfort. However, it was fun doing it .

You ought to publish the answers here since there are other curious minds who may not have completed and you kno how naggingly annoying it is to leave them incomplete.

Keep up the good work.

Raju Umamaheswar

plutoman said...

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Here are the answers:

Across:
1. CARMINE
5. ASTERISK
9. JAMMED
13. RUNNING TIME
20. DEAN
21. BLOTTING PAPER
23. LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR
25. HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT
29. CARBONATE
31. PATENT
34. TALES
35. EGO
36. ALTAR
37. TRADE WINDS
39. BEAR RIGHT
42. HANGAR
44. WEEKEND
47. DESTITUTION
48. SNOWDROP
50. NAVE
51. RAPID
53. DIVAN
54. AVID
56. HEIR TO THE THRONE
59. TWENTY TO ONE
60. VIEW
63. ELIMINATE
65. ASHEN
67. PRONOUNCED
69. HAULIER
71. EXACT
72. SKYWARD
75. HANG
78. MORRIS DANCERS
82. STRIKE A CHORD
84. RHESUS
85. UPSTAGE
88. SCOTCH
90. PLAGUE
92. SPRING CLEAN
94. ECHO
96. DEADPAN
97. CHATEAU
98. SNUB
100. SAVING GRACE
103. RECOIL
105. PROTON
108. GLIMPSE
111. UNSEEN
113. UNIMAGINABLE
115. COFFEE GRINDER
118. TURF
121. SCRAWLS
124. LABEL
125. SHUT OFF
128. RACING POST
132. NINJA
133. TRADE NAME
135. BEES
136. INDEX FINGER
138. SCARBOROUGH FAIR
143. ROSE
144. CHAR
147. BELOW
148. ZINC
150. SAW TOOTH
151. EMBARRASSES
152. SET FREE
155. SHIVER
160. SPARINGLY
162. VERMICELLI
163. AMONG
164. COT
165. ROYAL
167. ORANGE
168. MUSICIANS
171. SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS
175. CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
177. PSYCHOLOGICAL
180. EVEN
181. TEMPORARILY
182. RED-EYE
183. RESETTLE
184. CENTRAL

Down:
2. ARENA
3. MANSE
4. NIB
5. ARTICHOKE
6. THINK TANK
7. RAG
8. STANDARD
10. AIL
11. MAGIC
12. DETER
13. RUINOUS
14. NICETIES
15. NEON
16. TSUNAMI
17. MATTERHORN
18. REGATTA
19. GRATE
22. LAUREL
24. FIXATED
25. HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE
26. VOLUNTARILY
27. YES-MAN
28. ATTENDANCE
30. AVIATOR
32. METTLE
33. BRING ROUND
38. DITTO
40. MOTHER
41. SPY
43. RAVEN
44. WEALTH
45. EMIT
46. BATTLESHIP
47. DINOSAUR
49. WAN
52. STUN
55. DWELLING
56. HEATH
57. TINY
58. EVE
61. IDLE
62. WREST
64. EARTHLING
66. HEN
67. PROS
68. OARS
70. REAL
73. WIT
74. RIGMAROLE
76. ACACIA
77. GREECE
78. MEANER
79. RUSE
80. ALCOHOLIC
81. CUT
83. DON
86. STAIR
87. CHAIRLIFT
89. CHEAP
91. EASTER
92. SAVANT
93. RANGER
95. QUEENSBERRY RULES
99. BOND
101. GNU
102. COMPLEXION
104. CHATTIER
106. OFF
107. EGGS
109. MOA
110. SCRUB
111. UNDO
112. SENT
114. NOBODIES
116. FORE
117. GENERATING
119. URN
120. FLAIR
122. WHAT HAVE YOU
123. INCH
126. HAND-ME-DOWN
127. FRIEZE
129. ASS
130. POOL
131. STORMY
134. DOWNS
137. ROAR
139. COO
140. GRADE
141. FIREMAN
142. INSECT
145. ASK
146. SWEPT ASIDE
147. BELLOWS
149. CHERUB
153. FIGURE OUT
154. EXCLUSIVE
156. SLOUCHER
157. PIANIST
158. MASSACRE
159. STADIA
161. REGROUP
162. VOCALLY
166. POACH
169. AMBER
170. SCOLD
172. OVERT
173. THETA
174. AFAR
176. KEY
178. ORE
179. LEE

kingcryptic said...

The above link to "Largest Cryptic Crossword in the World" now has a php extension. The website has a new look and new puzzle download date for July 2011. Apologies to those waiting for this site to be ready for membership, but I promise it to be a very enjoyable puzzle, and a satisfying achievement for those who conquer it.