Editorial by David Akenhead, CEO Akenhead crosswords

I learnt recently from her son, Simon Hall, of the sad passing of Barbara Hall MBE, former Crossword Editor of The Sunday Times with whom I worked on The Sunday Times Omnibus Crosswords Book as well as supplying me with many of her crosswords for my Sunday Times Crossword Compendium which graced the Moscow Top Ten for an entire year! I have posted her Obituary beneath that of Mike Laws – they were both of them two of the best, and a huge privilege to work with. My deepest condolences to the family.

At Easter and always let us all pray for a new dawn of Peace and reconciliation in our strife-torn, fragile world. Wars should be a thing of the past if we value our very existence in this delicate Garden God gave us to look after.

Deepest sympathies to friends and family in Ukraine at this very stressful time, daily praying for peace in their war-shattered land, and for their relatives and friends in Belarus nearby. In thoughts for them as well as the increased suffering and hardship worldwide,


My renewed licence from The Times (and its limitations to Autumn 2000 with a couple of exceptions) is your guarantee of both quality and provenance.

I have decided to reduce our annual subscription temporarily to $US2. In view of a desire from some of our visitors, that they would like to purchase digital titles outright in preference, I shall shortly be reviving akenheadcrosswords.com as a new sub-domain to this website for that purpose as a new addition to our enterprise.

In addition, enjoy my weekly crossword challenge courtesy of Facebook and Linked-in, to include crosswords by Edmund Akenhead compiled for The East African Standard before he joined The Times as Crossword Editor in 1965, along with UK Times crosswords from him commencing with The First Book of The Times Crosswords,  Sunday Times crosswords by former crossword Editor, Barbara Hall, and finally our latest addition: Times Concise crosswords by their instigator, Margaret Webb, and their subsequent development to the style seen today, with plenty of variety including the odd anagram too, evolved by Richard Browne as the ever popular Times Two crossword, and appropriately renamed today after its forebear. So effectively every 4 weeks will see a crossword challenge via our sources from one version of each for everyone to enjoy. Here are links to the Cryptic Crossword Society at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cryptics where I am a regular contributor and Linked-in https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-akenhead-72153687/

I hope, by maintaining my direct link alongside to HarperCollins and all the Times, Sunday Times and Sun publications, I am seen to be demonstrating my continued goodwill to News UK.

Sun crosswords presently are not included in any subscription and only free samplers are available in my limited Archive window alongside.

Our Viewership today stands at 112,350: Canada leads today. Earlier France managed to chalk up over 1,000 visits in one weekend.

My prime mandate on this website remains that of upholding, and indeed expanding my role as guardian of The Times crossword archive, a voluntary role which I am devoted to, and am at present expanding with The Times crosswords published between 1930 and 1985 including the Second World War, hitherto largely untouched and a thoroughly intriguing exercise it is proving! In addition, introduced is a new feature entitled the Akenhead Years, gradually retracing the history of the Times crossword during my father’s eventful stewardship back from the final record of the Times crossword from the existing Times archive.

Appended to my labours are my selected Top Ten from each year since inception until 1945. A rich mine and fountain of knowledge from the Pierian Spring still await discovery in the outstanding gaps thenceforward!

I hope also soon to revive my own independent pursuits here in Newfoundland, Canada and those of my daughter, Charlotte in Porto, Portugal, and my cousin, Sasha in Houston, Texas (ex Royal Ballet, Corps de Ballet, Covent Garden) within the realms of the Arts – Music, Film and Drama, and in the immortal words of Bob Dylan let’s endeavour to continue to try to be “a beacon of light in a troubled world.”

 Charlotte did this delightful aria earlier from Handel’s Rinaldo, Lascia ch’io pianga.


Kind regards, David Akenhead, former Crossword Consultant to The Times and inventor of The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun Computer Crosswords and Games.

28th May, 2022


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