75 Years of The Times Crossword

Harper Collins rang me with an interesting proposition in the spring of 2005…

An ambitious project celebrating 75 glorious years of The Times crossword, a lovely hardback edition for Christmas 2005 – might I be interested as guardian of the Times crossword archive, in granting Harper Collins permission of access to said archive and co-editing the tome with Richard Browne, newly appointed editor of The Times crossword? I’d be delighted on both counts, I said, and added it would be a fitting way of blending the old with the new if we could invite some of the children of their illustrious forebears to submit articles as well. They thought that a good idea, as did Richard. Needless to say when the edition emerged later in the year, complete with Endeavour Morse’s Whodunnit Times crossword from The Wench is Dead, masterminded by Colin Dexter, who graciously provided us with a riveting introduction ‒ Morse portrayed brilliantly on television by the late, great, John Thaw ‒ it was a sellout, and those fortunate enough to get a copy in their Christmas stocking were assured of a scarce and valuable collector’s item from Santa that year!

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