Editorial by David Akenhead, CEO Akenhead crosswords
The love of a hugely grateful and indebted nation are with Queen Elizabeth who died peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday, 8th September. She brought kindness and light to the world through its darkest hours and throughout her inspiring, colourful and adventurous life. Deeply missed.
I am advised to set my bar lower when it comes to digital crossword products. After research into this market, I have decided on a permanent 75% discount against book equivalents with prices now in Canadian dollars at a generous 1.5 conversion rate against Sterling. Plenty of samples, but as the only extant crossword archivist, I am duty-bound to preserve the family silver! The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say, regardless of fantasy land or trends! Also, as a former currency trader myself, before my newspaper days, I am of a mind to make any necessary adjustment quarterly – Enjoy! – DA
Go to Gallery today for further free samples of my NEW improved e-products available through my subdomain akenheadcrosswords.com! My latest quest, has been to produce a flawless digital crossword games platform to appeal to neophytes and experts alike at an affordable price. My original concept alongside Richard Browne, with whom I proofed The Times Two Crossword Book 4, and my observation of his own achievement therein on racking up his 500th Times Two crossword, gave me the inspiration for my own Times Two (later renamed Times Concise) 1,000 Crossword Games, broken down into 20 batches of 50 enticing digital games in each – now available. Marvellous mental exercise bicycle for anyone, and a ‘must’ for any aspiring Concise or Cryptic crosswordees, be they beginners or experts! As my late father always advised, our aim in this business must be to entertain, rather than drain! Couldn’t agree more.
Let it be known that I am the first to sing the praises of books old as well as new, and crossword books in particular in line with my passion, as is witness to my extensive archive which continues to be replenished with all the latest crossword publications from both The Times and Sunday Times courtesy of Times Newspapers Limited and HarperCollins. My contribution to these highly stimulating forms of mental therapy worldwide, rests in developing digital equivalents for today’s world, complete with hand-held devices and other ingenious products for ever attracting the interest of an insatiable modern generation, it seems. Accordingly, as ever, we move with the prevailing times. People continue to want products, but only those which are tangible and personal to them.
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.
To my existing subscribers, we will continue to honour our undertaking to you. Yours is also the exclusive right to any one of my titles now on display in my new e-Gallery excluding those labelled RESERVED.Aware of the exclusive non-transferable nature of our products, our Products are only available from this website and will be for the exclusive use of registered customers only, which registration and authority ceases, in the event of cancellation or demise. We reserve the right too to make any improvements over time (always in the best interests of our customers). Contact me any time via firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall rectify any outstanding issues immediately. Feedback is welcome too and your comfort and security remain paramount – DA.
In addition, enjoy my weekly crossword challenges (now resumed) courtesy of Facebook/Instagram and Linked-in, to include early crosswords by Edmund Akenhead before he joined The Times as Crossword Editor in 1965, along with UK Times and Sunday Times crosswords from him and others within my remit with various cryptic challenges weekly from either The Times or The Sunday Times.
I hope too, 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. My samples, such as those I am permitted to advertise, including Jumbos past and present, can only serve to enhance their sales.
Sun crosswords presently are not included in any commercial enterprise and only free samplers are available in my limited Archive window alongside. However, it would be nice if I had them aboard, and perhaps the powers that be at News might see fit to review my recent advances with a single gifted programmer from India, where since March 28th (under my new contract with Times Newspapers Limited) our viewing figures below tell their own story. These are superb British crosswords, after all, and something to be rightly proud of.
Our Viewership today stands at 135,410.
My father’s memorable contribution in 1984, (published 1st January 1985) for the memorial illustrated tribute The Times – Past – Present – Future to celebrate the Bi-Centenary of The Times and a copy of the First Edition under the name of the Daily Universal Register of 1st January 1785 (beneath) complete with a clue of mine to fit another 1 across! preceded some 60 odd Years earlier by my ancestor, Robert Akenhead’s, Newcastle Mercury which he founded with his printing presses on The Olde Tyne Bridge, in Newcastle on July 10th, 1722. It was one of the earliest broadsheets of its kind.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 to the final record of the Times crossword from the existing Times archive culminating in December 1985.
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!
My daughter Charlotte did this delightful impromptu 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
Below, extract from the final newsletter by the former Puzzles Editor at The Times, David Parfitt.
After something in the realm of 250 Puzzles newsletters, this is my last introductory note. I’m bringing my seven-and-a-half year tenure as puzzles editor to a close, although you may still sense my presence in the papers as I’ll be continuing to set a handful of our puzzles. I’m delighted to welcome Mick Hodgkin as the new puzzles editor. Mick has been an exceptional crossword setter for The Times for almost six years and is a popular and well-respected member of the puzzling community. And if you recognise Mick’s pen pic once it appears at the top of the newsletter, it may be that you followed his run to the semi-finals of Only Connect, the highbrow BBC quiz, in 2016.
It has been a huge honour to represent puzzles in The Times and The Sunday Times, and one of the most enjoyable aspects has been writing this newsletter. I remember, when the idea for a newsletter was proposed, wondering how on Earth I would fill it every week. It is amazing, however, just how much goes on in the world of puzzles, and in all those weeks, I’ve not once been short of material.
Thank you so much for signing up to receive the newsletter and reading it each week. Like the rest of our puzzles offering, it is in very safe hands with Mick. Take care and, most importantly, keep on puzzling.
The Times crossword editor, Richard Rogan, selects his five favourite clues from the past week’s Quick Cryptic puzzles. (Solutions and explanations below)
1 Stunned European given the sack (8)No 2115, Monday, April 18
2 Drive round Northern Ireland is fine, perhaps (6)No 2116, Tuesday, April 19
3 Close result, Croatian vote? (5,8)No 2117, Wednesday, April 20
4 Mountain area — it’s essential to plan descent (5)No 2118, Thursday, April 21
5 Woman left behind by inconsiderate driver? (4,5)No 2119, Friday, April 22
Enhance your crossword solving by visiting our Crossword Club. It’s free to digital subscribers, and offers thousands of Times and Sunday Times crosswords, live leaderboards, solving forums and more. Equally, for crosswords before October 2000, you may wish to subscribe to David Akenhead’s crosswordsakenhead.com (which is independent of The Times and The Sunday Times).