The CBC Newsroom number in St John's is 709 576 5510 and the St John's City Council helpline is 709 729 3703 for those in continuing need after our recent severe winter storm here in Newfoundland.

I’ll no say men are villains a’; The real harden’d wicked, Wha hae nae check but human law; Are to a few restricked: But och! mankind are unco weak, An’ little to be trusted; If self the wavering balance shake, It’s rarely right adjusted! 

Robert Burns Epistle to a Young Friend May 1786

PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO ALL. . . and extended Greetings to all, upon this lately passed festive Burn’s Night! ‘I ha’e nae wife, and that my bliss is, An’ ye have laid nae tax on misses’!  THE INVENTORY February 22nd 1786

I have converted this website to its new Subscription Format for our Crosswords Archive. We hope as many of you who appreciate our service, will find adequate reward in the new annual US$15 levy. Simply click on Subscription (above) to enrol. Good to see it’s working well, and people are enjoying what is generally regarded as a valuable and unique crossword collection.

STOP PRESS! The House and Subscribed Competitions for a crossword to match the superb earlier effort by Brian Greer for the forthcoming 90th Anniversary of The Times crossword on February 1st, are now CLOSED. Contributors to the House crossword included Sam Buttrey of the USA, Luciano Ward of the USA, Rob Kingston of the UK and myself. This crossword is now complete, and you are all invited to try it out for yourselves as a brand NEW attraction! The winner will be announced on February 1st.  I have also resurrected my Word Games which you will find under the FREE ITEMS heading above! Enjoy!

Congratulations! to Luciano Ward of the USA and Glasgow, with his clue for COLONOSCOPY in the Christmas Competition – Medical procedure: “bone clone” (11) and duly adjudged a worthy winner for his clever build-up!

STOP PRESS! Brand NEW feature! My promised Crossword Challenge enabling crossword buffs worldwide to vie for the successful completion of a classic Times crossword. It is to be hoped that this latest innovation will whet your appetites for a free subscription or better still, help you experience the wonderful bounty of extremely rare crosswords which lie within! Simply click on Challenge (above) and follow the instructions.

STOP PRESS! Over 26,100 VISITS TO DATE! In the prevailing spirit of goodwill we at Akenhead Crosswords would like to continue to offer:

‒ Margaret Webb’s classic compilations of The First and Second Books of The Times Concise Crossword Puzzles from 1988 and 1989 respectively with 240 Puzzles in each are now available in the Archive. John Grant’s, The Times Crosswords Omnibus Book 1 is now available and Book 2, with 120 Puzzles in each, published in 1995 and 1996 respectively, under my editorship for Times Books will shortly be added too.

‒ Visitors’ Page: this experiment has proved a very interesting gauge of interest from near and far for the current month, current day, and hour on hour, compared as they are against the viewing figures since inception. Interesting too to witness the expanding global appeal of the digital crosswords.

 ‒ The Jumbo Games, 100 available in our brand new format covering 5 months, along with 50 of The Times and Sunday Times concise crossword games from the pens of former crossword editors, Margaret Webb, for The Times and my dear friend, Barbara Hall, for The Sunday Times, are all back under FREE ITEMS (above). I like to use these games as a platform for innovation! (See revised About section).

‒ I have managed to prove that this facility is international, desired and unique in its content thanks to the efforts of just two mathematicians, myself and Sunil Kumar Mutaka, a highly gifted young man from Bhubaneswar, India.

‒ Thank you Times Newspapers Limited for your welcome continued promotion of my website.

 ‒ Security improvements: With the latest WordPress model for our platform, your privacy and security are assured:

Internal emails: for all general correspondence regarding this website. for crossword-specific data.

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. That entire work is available for your enjoyment by clicking on Jubilee (above).

Here at Akenhead crosswords we would like once again to thank David Parfitt, Times Puzzles editor at TOL for a welcome mention in his latest weekly bulletin.

NEW FACILITIES – Help and No Help – I have introduced these two developments to encourage a wider appreciation of the crosswords themselves, reflecting both a crib version, designed to spur the grey matter and a digital book equivalent! On which note, 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!

To summarise, features include: Articles, Crossword History (newly revised), Diamond Jubilee Puzzle, 90th Anniversary House puzzle, Free Items, including sample crosswords from the archive, FREE Games and our brand NEW ongoing Crossword Challenge, with a free subscription for successful applicants, plus Top Visitors – monthly and daily revision –  Enjoy, and spread the Word! – Visits to this site number 26,149 –Thank you all, for your patronage!



Edmund Akenhead, former longest serving full time Crossword Editor of The Times 1965-1983, and 30 years a contributor (5 years under Jane Carton 1960-1965, 7 years under John Grant 1983-1990), magician, codebreaker, cruciverbalist, wit, writer, crossword Editor to The Tanganyika Standard (later East African Standard) – 1946-1961, contributor to the Mombasa Times and The Times of India, inventor of The Times Jumbo crossword, instigator of the annual Times crossword championships and mastermind behind the 60s BBC 2 show, Crossword on Two, hosted by Frank Muir and Patrick Campbell.

On this website witness titles from his son’s exclusive Crossword Digital Library, compiled by him voluntarily and updated regularly 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 Edmund in 1969. The entire archive today comprises over 13,000 digital crosswords from The Times, and The Sunday Times up to the present day, including some early gems.

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’! DA

The crosswords currently available on this website have been commissioned to include digital crossword book publications for The Times and The Sunday Times prior to October 2000 and earlier extracted crosswords 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 such as Margaret Webb’s two inaugural Penguin publications celebrating her Times Concise crosswords, my own enterprise for Times Books as editor of The Times and Sunday Times Omnibus series for John Grant and Barbara Hall respectively, and finally mine and Richard Browne’s pride and joy, 75 Years of The Times Crossword (see article) under special licence from Times Newspapers Limited.

Our wonderful provenance would not be complete without mention of two stalwarts in particular: Wadham Sutton, who joined my father’s team in 1974, and according to Owen Jones and Ben Whitelaw by March 2014 had already clocked up 1414 Times Crosswords let alone 79 Jumbos and I gather is still going strong featured, as he is, in the 18th Book of Times Jumbo crosswords, and then too, equally unforgettably, remarkable, and sadly departed, Joyce Cansfield, who will be dearly missed, joining the team as she did with her very first effort, in 1981 and concluding with her 1265th in 2011! Somewhat appropriately too, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of The Times Crossword on 1st February 2010, hers was the puzzle that appeared in The Times that day – et in memoriam suam.


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 

“Akenhead, Grant and Greer, the three amigos – what a wonderful legacy for a truly wonderful crossword” David Akenhead, 11th December 2019 

“Prometheus bound, by the eagle, or unbound by Hercules” as a clue for “Delivered” Edmund Akenhead, 4th March 1972

“It should be able to catch a London marathon runner” as a clue for “Mousetrap” John Grant, 1st January 1993 

“The most important thing I have learnt from this unique annual event is that everyone in it is different and only by participating can one really discover the best way to complete it!” David Akenhead, a veteran St. Joseph’s Hospice supporter (and runner). Article entitled The London Marathon ‒ interview by Ralph Long, Editor, Hospice Newsletter, Autumn 2006

In memoriam: Robert Akenhead, Burgess Guild brother and appointed Freeman and Keys of the City of Glasgow, in the presence of Wallace Cochran, Lord Provost of Glasgow, for his services to the good people of Glasgow, at Glasgow, 1st January 1750. Printer, Bookbinder and founder of The Newcastle Mercury at his premises on Old Tyne Bridge (antediluvium) on 10th July 1722. Died 7th January 1773 aged 84 years. Buried at St Mary’s Church, Gateshead.

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 – 27th January 2020

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.

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 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. Entries to this competition are now CLOSED.

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

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