To all participants in
The BBC CiNA 3D Crosswords World Championship 2011
1. January Competition
The winner of the January competition with clues set by Enigmatist, is Alison Ramage. Excellent solving!
Clue number 15, that is 8d in the grid, has a rather obscure solution. A number of brilliant solvers managed to find it in the source indicated ie One Look Dictionary and then Wikipedia. A number of other brilliant solvers did not step upon it. My feeling is that those who found it should be recognised in some way, but that those who did not find it should not be discriminated against too strongly.
The clue is truly Enigmatic and raises a smile with me because Enigmatist did not like the word at all for clueing. So it is my fault for pressing my suit and I sense his cub salute might be directed at me.
What I have decided to do is to put those solvers with 100% correct solutions including 8d into the hat for the January prize. However, for the World Championship I have booted my terrible word into touch. Thus solvers who cracked all the other clues go forward and are still in the race for the title.
If you look through the Araucaria birthday party pictures you will see my suit is truly crumpled and Enigmatist looks extremely smart.
2. BBC CiNA 3D Crosswords World Championship Presentations
Without having a specific venue or date, I invited Sarah Montague to come to join us at a modest lunch for the presentation of the BBC CiNA 3D Crosswords World Championship trophy. It is not appropriate to have too splendid a meal but that does not need apply to those attending. To my mind young Ms Montague is the best live, unedited interviewer and presenter around at the moment. She has also been a fantastic supporter of our project. She organised her colleagues to record many of the clues in the 2010 competition. This was an important step in the development of the blind crossword program.
To our delight Sarah said that she would love to join us if she could and then said, instead of lunch, what about breakfast in the BBC canteen? Now that kind of slightly whacky suggestion fits in perfectly with the philosophy of our puzzles. Our new champion, Nora Boswell, and Maurice Cantley, second place, would be absolutely delighted if we can pull this off. I hope to have a better idea of permitted numbers soon.
3. Araucaria’s 90th Birthday lunch/party with One Across
As a subscriber to One Across I accepted an invitation to attend a wonderful party on Saturday at Kings College, Cambridge, to celebrate John Graham’s 90th birthday. John has been a terrific supporter of our project by looking at the first 3D puzzles and commenting as a critical friend, contributing his wonderful clues to our grids, writing a foreword to the website and introductions to calendars. And doing all that in amongst producing a phenomenal volume of phenomenal puzzles for decades and decades.
There are some compilers where I feel I am in the grip of some mortal struggle, a battle of wits to complete exhaustion. There is enough of the masochist in me to enjoy this immensely.
Then there is Araucaria! When I look at his crosswords, a welcoming hand comes out to invite one in to have some fun. There is a spirit in the puzzle which leaps and bounds about with twinkling eye, appearing and disappearing in unexpected places, performing delightful acrobatics with the English language, pointing out extraordinary views of the ordinary, playing with ideas that crystallise from the swirling purple vapours.
Not easy! Not constrained by unnecessary rules. But always scrupulously fair and ....... great, great fun!
Thank you, John Graham, for all your help, your brilliance of heart and mind. Happy Birthday from all of us.
It was a great pleasure to meet some of our 3D solvers. Marilyn and Bill Gabbett came up with great big smiles. It was wonderful to meet them and they were very kind in getting me to the railway station on the way home. Richard Graffen had been enjoying some of our puzzles but not always sending them in. I said that it always cheered everyone one up. January and February were in my inbox when I returned home!. Very impressive RG.
Jane Teather is also having a go at the 3D puzzles this year. She and her husband John Henderson (Enigmatist) came up with a brilliant idea. Jane had produced a lovely colourful version of the Wednesday Guardian crossword set in honour of Araucaria’s birthday by Enigmatist, Paul and Shed. Jane whizzed round for their signatures before giving it to us for the project. I have consulted with Maurice who thinks it would be an amazing momento of his second place in last year’s competition. Thank you Jane and John.
Jane’s photos of the occasion can be viewed at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/30631875@N ... il/?page=3
You may spot some compilers who will feature later this year. John Halpern, Paul, has done a cracking set of clues for March. Don Manley, Pasquale, present at the Guardian Tuesday evening celebration has clued our May puzzle.
4. January solution
Thank you everybody for your patience at the start of the year. We are still getting a trickle of new solvers joining up. Although the prize has been awarded for January, the world competition is still open. Anyone new wishing to join can do so by sending in their January and February solutions by the end of this month February 28th midnight. I will publish the solutions to both of these puzzles after that date.
Anyone who did not send in their solution because they could not find a satisfactory 8d, please do send it in.
5. It is great to be fully underway this year with steadily building numbers. 95% of our regular solvers are continuing for another year of torture and delight in three dimensions.
Thank you everyone for supporting our project.