Monday 29 September 2008


A collection of crossword references, solving guides and other crossword-related paraphernalia. (Description excerpts from

Crossword References

Ximenes On The Art Of The Crossword

Ximenes On The Art Of The Crossword
D. S. Macnutt, crossword setter for the 'Observer' 1939 - 1971, was Ximenes, the father of crosswords, and wrote this book to make crosswords more enjoyable and rewarding to solvers. His principles of crossword composition, with the notion that being fair to the solver is of paramount importance, have become the foundations for crossword setters.

Read more: What are Ximenean clues?

Buy "Ximenes On The Art Of The Crossword" 

Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary

Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary
A unique type of crossword dictionary in that it has been compiled and crafted by a single author based on her 45 years' experience of crossword solving. Every word in this dictionary has appeared as a solution to a real crossword clue.

Buy "Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary"

The Chamber's Dictionary The Chambers Dictionary 
The dictionary of choice for all word lovers and crossword enthusiasts. It is known for its comprehensive coverage of English and for its tradition of including the occasional light-hearted definition in its pages.

Buy "The Chamber's Dictionary"

Solving Guides

How To Master The Times Crossword How To Master The Times Crossword by Tim Moorey
In order to master The Times Crossword, expert crossword solver and setter Tim Moorey guides the beginner and intermediate solver through clue types, the solving process and gives lots of practice clues/exercises.

The book is highly recommended by other setters and solvers.

My review of the book: How To Master The Times Crossword

Buy "How To Master The Times Crossword"
Secret Of The Setters

Secret Of The Setters by Hugh Stephenson
Packed with examples from the Guardian's celebrated compilers, Secrets of the Setters explains how all the different types of cryptic clues work. Also includes a large selection of practice puzzles and a handy list of words and letters that setters commonly use as their cryptic building blocks.

The author Hugh Stevenson is the Guardian's crossword editor.

Buy "Secret Of The Setters"

Books Of Interest For Crossworders

Afrit's Armchair Crosswords

Armchair Crosswords by Afrit
A cult crossword book, it contains 40 cryptic crosswords which have been out of print for decades. Many include unusual linguistic games such as intentional spelling mistakes.

My review of the book: Afrit’s Armchair Crosswords

Buy "Afrit's Armchair Crosswords"

Sandy Balfour's Pretty Girl In Crimson Rose (8)

Pretty Girl In Crimson Rose (8) by Sandy Balfour
In this book, award-winning documentary filmmaker Sandy Balfour traces the history of his longstanding fascination with cryptic crosswords. Spread through the book are some classic cryptic clues, mostly from the Guardian crossword.

My review of the book: Pretty Girl In Crimson Rose (8)

Buy "Secret Of The Setters"