STOP PRESS! Visitors’ Page – this experiment has proved a very interesting gauge of interest from near and far for the month, last being September. I may restrict this now to countries alone because I have other things to attend to beside, and the volume of interest has increased dramatically this month! (see below).

STOP PRESS! Revised Crossword Competition. Further to an email voicing supreme difficulty with the daunting prospect of attempting a 90 x 90 cryptic crossword, a 45 x 45 is all we now require! Anyone can enter (see below). Prize money, presently, £2000 for a £5 fee (or equivalent) secures you a place in history! In addition I am designing an interactive house version of my own, with the long solutions already there and clued, and next week hope to bring this up alongside Brian Greer’s Jubilee Puzzle inviting any to participate in its gradual construction for FREE! Clearly, there is no fee for this, nor any prizes, but I will welcome your interest and that of your friends, all the same! 

STOP PRESS! Now that my website has now hit 17,000 separate viewers! I have managed to prove that this facility is international, desired and unique in its facilities thanks to the efforts of just two mathematicians, myself and Sunil Kumar Mutaka in India. To that end, I am effectively continuing the PR service I enjoyed for many years at both newspapers and The Sun, until pirates rendered my earlier products, though highly successful, redundant. Never say die, is my motto, and here on my cloud and with rigid adherence to security, your safety and privacy are paramount. Bringing me on to 2 ongoing and important considerations:

1. It is now my desire to open up my entire digital crossword book archive to include digital publications up until the present day to my viewing public. These products are available nowhere else but here. Watch this space! Were this to be approved we would be asking for a small subscription from desirous beneficiaries.

2. I have reintroduced the revised 45 x 45 crossword competition (below) complete with its prizes. It is to be hoped that the powers that be will see fit to grant a little extra including a crossword book of either choice or design mailed to all entrants, as was previously the case with entrants to my father’s national crossword championships – (See below for entry and further details). Thank you Times Newspapers Limited for continuing to support both me and my ventures (and my faithful programmer, Sunil, in India).

STOP PRESS! Security improvements: I have decided, in view of recent developments in the news in general, to suspend both Facebook and Twitter feeds to this site and have instituted a new internal email: for all future correspondence regarding this website.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Akenhead Crosswords announced on 5th June 2019, the successful on-line publication (above) of the mammoth Diamond Jubilee Puzzle compiled by Brian Greer in February 1990 to celebrate 60 Years of The Times crossword, the original compiled by Adrian Bell and published in The Times, on Saturday 1st February 1930. N.B. To reveal entire grid, reduce Zoom facility from standard 100% to 67% (three vertical dots top right).

Here at we would like once again to thank David Parfitt, Times Puzzles editor at TOL for a welcome mention in his weekly bulletin (and the current crossword crew, some of whom I know well).

The Jumbo Games, now available in our brand new format covering 5 months, along with The Times and Sunday Times concise crossword games, will remain a FREE attraction for anyone to enjoy. They now number 100 in total. In addition, and in response to readers’ requests for simpler Games, we are adding 5 monthly gems of concise crosswords to the Games repertoire from the pens of former crossword editors, Margaret Webb, for The Times and my dear friend, Barbara Hall, for The Sunday Times in an effort to open up these priceless crosswords to the world. The Concise Crossword Games now number 30.

NEW FACILITIES – Help and No Help – I have introduced these two innovations to encourage a wider appreciation of the crosswords themselves, leaving you our readers to decide on the amount of help you require, if any. I received an email suggesting I was defeating the point with the No Help versions by offering the solutions! I would like to reiterate that it is the same with the books, and in my new Games, where cheating is also a last resort and should be resisted unless defeat is conceded! All the same, I defer to my father, who reminded me “by their fruits, so shall ye know them!” In other words, even the experts can benefit from a leg up sometimes!

Additional NEW features include: FREE Crossword Games, NEW Articles, Crossword History (latest revision) and Top Visitors – month on month daily revision –  Enjoy, and spread the Word! – Visits to this site now number 17,068 – Thank you all, for your patronage!


This website is dedicated to the memory of my late father, Edmund Akenhead, magician and cruciverbalist extraordinary, writer of pantomimes, and quiet war hero, originally resident crossword Editor to The Tanganyika Standard – later East African Standard (15 years) and supplier of his crosswords to the Mombasa Times and The Times of India, and former longest serving full time Crossword Editor of The Times (18 years), inventor of The Times Jumbo crossword, instigator of the annual Times crossword championships and mastermind behind the early BBC 2 production, Crossword on Two hosted by Frank Muir and Patrick Campbell. On this website alone you will discover extracts from my exclusive hands-on Crossword Digital Library which I have compiled voluntarily and updated personally since 1980, and which now embodies a unique collection of almost every crossword book publication post World War 2, commencing with The First Book of The Times Crosswords commissioned by Penguin to my father in 1969. My entire archive (above) today comprises over 12,500 digital crosswords from The Times, and The Sunday Times newspapers including some early gems. Items marked R are excluded from public access on this site. I liken writing computer crosswords to making the perfect cup of tea – a number (quite a few, actually) of subtle conditions must be met to make it, in the words of Goldilocks, ‘just right’! Keep the comments coming in! I like to think that no challenge is too great to do justice to our wonderful provenance. We are making changes all the time to improve your experience. Tell your friends!

The crosswords available on this website have been commissioned to include digital crossword publications for The Times and The Sunday Times prior to October 2000 stemming from 1925 in the case of the latter and 1930 in the case of the former together with post WW2 rare crossword book publications culminating in mine and Richard Browne’s pride and joy, 75 Years of The Times Crossword (see article) under special licence from Times Newspapers Limited.

Very best wishes – David Akenhead, author of the Computer Crosswords and former Crossword Consultant to The Times from the lovely island (and people) and former earliest British colony, of Newfoundland.

Memorable Quotes

“This must be the crossword equivalent to White Knight or Colossus Bridge. To be compared to those two masterpieces in serious games programming is a true testament to the quality of The Times Computer Crosswords” Nic Outterside, Electron User Magazine, September 1988 edition

“My main reason for buying The Times is trying to solve the crossword, I love it” Mrs Maureen Henden, 26th March 2019

“More to the point, I’d developed a thirty-five-year addiction to the Times crossword puzzle” Rupert Murdoch from Two Years in St Andrews 1983 by George Peper, former Editor-in-chief, Golf Magazine

“What we do ought to be done well” Mary Aikenhead, Dublin, 31st October, 1815

Lest we forget: Alice Akenhead, George Medal, nurse St John’s Ambulance 161901 Western front 1914, 1915, 1916 from the first day of the Battle of the Somme, with the appalling loss of life of the young Newfoundlanders at Beaumont Hammel to her departure with her badly wounded brother, David, Captain 6th Lincolnshires (and others) after Fleurs Courcelette later that year. We will remember them.

Ubi Caritas et Amor, Deus ibi est 

In the interests of copyright protection, neither printout nor save facility is offered, rather the concede facility effectively enables users to reset their crossword to spec. (consult Instructions in the Crossword Menu). My new formula leaves everything neatly on the website with nothing saved on home systems thereby avoiding the dilemma of hackable downloads. Everything in my cloud, stays in my cloud.

David Akenhead CEO Akenhead crosswords – 21st October, 2019

The Times crossword 90th Anniversary Competition

On Saturday 1st February 2020 it will be 90 years to the day since Adrian Bell, our founding father, produced the very first Times crossword to be published in The Times on Saturday 1st February 1930.

To celebrate this very special occasion we at Akenhead Crosswords would like to invite you to submit your own English 45×45 cryptic crossword for consideration. The winner will receive the equivalent of sterling £1000 and the two runners-up will receive £500 each.

Conditions Of Entry

You must be 18 years of age or older and you are required to submit a non-returnable fee of sterling £5 or any equivalent acceptable to Pay Pal. Payment must be by Credit Card and membership of Pay Pal is not obligatory. You must supply an email address to ensure receipt of your fee, in the attached entry form, also your country which will be duly acknowledged, as well as just your ZIP/Post Code in the final box. All subscribers are eligible to take part in the competition.Those who do may feel the need to add more detail in the address box – entirely their choice. However, those who do not, will still be acknowledged when the eventual winners are announced. This process, courtesy of Pay Pal is fully tested and functional, and your security is assured by them. So, tell your friends, and join in the fun with our historical challenge today!

The competition is reopened from today Thursday 3rd October, 2019 and closes on Saturday 25th January 2020. The winners will be announced on the following Saturday 1st February 2020 with the publication of their efforts on this website. An email attachment with Grid, clues and solutions, in the manner of Brian Greer’s former celebratory 45×45 crossword (but not necessarily his design), or using the grid reference formula suggested in my new article for beginners, is all we require. No computer knowledge is necessary.

Very best of Luck, and may the best man or woman win!
Sincerely, David Akenhead

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