Greetings for Summer 2021!


STOP PRESS! Live samples – brand NEW working cryptic crossword with credits for the public at large for correct solution and analysis on both Facebook and Linked-In of Edmund Akenhead’s Classic East African Crosswords devised by him and aided by myself (Grids and modernisation) for the East African Standard in 1960-1962 and The Mombasa Times in 1962 complete with links to this site and our Preview and App site. Enjoy!


With regard to my War Years project – Stage 1 is now complete. Stage 2 is progressing with all the other missing months already at March 1941. 1939 and 1940 are complete as are February 1940 to February 1945. The accompanying Chronology is being updated too to reflect the common aspirations for peace, by Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister at the outset, and those of the Emperor Hirohito of Japan, at its ending. In between, to my utter amazement I have found another very suspect Times crossword from 1941 which I have posted with suitable Preface! This particular collection is full of surprises, it seems! When I complete my task I hope I will have unveiled an intriguing historical record courtesy of the Thunderer with her unique Archive, World War 2 Atlas and my own digital crosswords. My centenary project, too, (1930 +) will remain FREE for all comers. Feedback is welcome – DA

1. In a concerted effort to blend the old with the new, we have made mega changes to the website.

I have completed two Video tutorials for both the Times crossword and The Times Concise crossword games, so that people can view the many devices available to them in my latest crossword programs ‒ DA

For subscribers to our commercial app there are now three options:

(Suspended from 1st September, 2021)

1. Annual $US 10 Subscription.

2. VIP individual Life Subscription from $US 100 upwards.

3. VIP corporate Annual Subscription of $US 5,000.

Let me emphasise too that the commercial app has been designed for the mobile market, and therefore appears a little differently from the simulated Preview App, though I am delighted to announce the addition of the clue lists to that application too and I’m presently looking at ways to add the mega Jumbos as well – DA

All products advertised reflect our obligations to TNL, however we reserve the right to withdraw any of the entirely free items from this Page (which includes any or all of the currently free samples on the Preview app) without notice.

2. All Times and Sunday Times Cryptic and Concise crossword Games including Jumbo have been transferred to our new Commercial App. from the pens of Edmund Akenhead, Margaret Webb, John Grant, Brian Greer, Mike Laws and Richard Browne for The Times and Barbara Hall for The Sunday Times. Service suspended from 1st September 2021, to be replaced by the War Years and The Times, Sunday Times and Sun Computer Crossword Archive and Games.

3. My Visits section is adjusted to reflect renewed global interest and the top countries visiting are listed daily. In all our advances I have tried to ensure that our standards are in keeping with those at The Times and The Sunday Times. Thank you – David Akenhead

4. Included above and article below is my completed 90th Anniversary Times Crossword, a 45 x 45 finished product with some 208 clues for all to enjoy, alongside Brian Greer’s earlier wonderful Times Diamond Jubilee crossword which was my inspiration for my own 90th Anniversary effort.

5. My bar/category system above enables viewers to zone in directly to any items of interest on this website.

Witness in particular from my Crossword Archive on my new App:

‒ Edmund Akenhead’s remarkable Times Jumbo Crossword Books 1 and 2, from his own innovation, the 27×27 Times Jumbo Cryptic Crosswords, entirely his own work, bar one crossword from yours truly, his Times Crossword Books 1 to 7, his Times 50th Anniversary Crosswords and his earlier Classic East African Crosswords from The East African Standard2 Volumes.

‒ Margaret Webb’s classic compilations of The First and Second Books of The Times Concise Crossword Puzzles published by Penguin in 1988 and 1989, respectively with 240 Puzzles in each from their earlier appearance in The Times followed by her Concise Crossword Books 3 to 6 published by Times Books.

‒ John Grant’s, The Times Crosswords Omnibus Books 1 & 2with 120 Puzzles in each, published in 1995 and 1996 in turn, under my editorship and programme for Times Books, and his Times Crossword Books 8 to 19.

‒ Elizabeth and Derek Jewell’s Sunday Times Crossword Books 1 to 6.

‒ Barbara Hall’s single, Sunday Times Crosswords Omnibus Book with 120 Puzzles from her pen and under my proofs editorship for Times Books and her Sunday Times Crossword Books 7 to 15, Millennium Books 1 to 3 and her Sunday Times Concise Crossword Books 1 to 8 and Millennium Concise Books 1 to 3.

‒ Brian Greer’s, challenging The Times Crossword Masterclass with some archive access from the Akenhead and Grant Archive, his The Times Crossword 2000, his Times Jumbo Crosswords Book 3 (which I proof edited for Times Books), and his Times Crossword Books 20 & 21, plus The Times Cryptic Crossword Book 1.

‒ Mike Laws and I produced The Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword Books 4, 5 and 6 which he and I produced through Times Books, launching the first of the Everest trilogy in Book 6 and all in the original 27×27 format. He also produced The Times Cryptic Crossword Books 2 to 5 in which I assisted as his proofs Editor. Sadly missed – see Obituary under Times Crossword.

‒ Finally, 75 Years of The Times Crossword, put together in 2005 by myself and Richard Browne, newly appointed Crossword Editor of The Times, with a timely Foreword by Colin Dexter to celebrate a futher milestone.

Visitors’ Page: this experiment has proved a very interesting gauge of interest of the Top countries visiting from near and far for the current day, as well as a list of those countries which have visited us to date (presently numbering 162). Interesting to witness the expanding global appeal of the digital crosswords.

I have managed to prove that this facility is international, desired and unique in its content thanks to the efforts of just three mathematicians, myself, Sunil Kumar Mutaka, and newly arrived Deepak Kumar, another highly gifted young man from Bhubaneswar, India, who is taking over from Sunil (to whom I extend my thanks and best wishes for the future).

To summarise: current FREE features listed above include: Articles, Crossword History, the NEW Times Crossword Anniversaries section, DA’s Top Ten Times crosswords – 1930 onwards, his NEW War Years Project, complete with Chronology, Visitors’ page featuring Top Countries of the day, Akenhead input – (daily revision), NEW revised Archive from September 1st 2021 with FREE samples featuring 1,500 + Times and Sunday Times Crossword Games, embodying 100 Vintage Times Crosswords, 50 Vintage Sunday Times crosswords from 1925, Classic Times crosswords from the War Years, Choice Archive selections with over 8,500 crosswords from The Times and The Sunday Times, sample Clues and Answers, plus Video tutorials –  Enjoy, and spread the Word! – Visits to this site number 83,305. Thank you all, for your patronage. From September 1st we become a FREE website again for samples and 100 games from my Times 1000 Concise crosswords and remainder of my games gratis to a limit of 10 until further notice – DA


Edmund Akenhead, former longest serving full time Crossword Editor of The Times 1965-1983, and yet more years as a contributor, this quiet man of many parts (including the Territorial Decoration for distinguished wartime service, in the footsteps of his aunt, Alice Akenhead GM in the Great War for equally distinguished service as a nurse), made manifest in numerous articles in The Times and introductions to his large CV of crossword books and those of other editors and associates, crossword Editor to The Tanganyika Standard (later The East African Standard) – 1953-1965, (with his own designed Grids, particularly his immortal E for Edmund Grid), 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 late 60s BBC 2 show, Crossword on Two, hosted by Frank Muir and Patrick Campbell, and marking a significant first, for The Times crossword.

On the Preview App from 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 Times 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. I had the privilege too of working as proofer with Richard on behalf of Times Books in his earlier capacity as Times2 Crossword Editor and his many innovations for The Times Concise Crosswords including a host of new grids, many featured in my new Times 1000 Concise Crossword Games. Thank you, Richard!

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 Times 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

“O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention” William Shakespeare, 1599 

“It’s hard when you’re standing in the shadows of a very famous man” Hank Williams Junior, 1966

“Come in I’ll give ya shelter, shelter from the storm” Bob Dylan, 17th September 1974

On the introduction of the The Times crossword on 1st February 1930, Mrs Blanche Hulton of Olney, Bucks, wrote: “These clever puzzles are an enjoyment second only to the best programmes of the BBC”

“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, St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney Newsletter, Autumn 2006

“Assist in regular opening of windows on every day at morning and evening availing yourselves of every ray of sunshine East and West regularly” Mary Aikenhead, Foundress of her Order, The Sisters of Charity, Dublin, 4th February 1816.

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, one of the earliest broadsheets, 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.

and Lest we Forget in addition to those already mentioned: The Forgotten Few from World War II including my uncle, Australian born, Flight Lieutenant Richard Nigel Cullen, RAF, DFC and Bar, and his great friend, South African born, Squadron Leader Pat Pattle, RAF, DFC and Bar. Lovingly remembered by family and friends – DA.

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, 19th September, 2021

The Times 90th Anniversary Crossword

1st February 2020 marked 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. We endeavoured to produce something to honour the occasion.

The challenge of producing a crossword to rival Brian Greer’s earlier magnificent effort in commemorating The Times crossword’s Diamond Jubilee in February 1990, was eventually met along with contributions from three valiant musketeers, Luciano Ward of the USA (and Scotland), Rob Kingston of the UK, and Sam Buttrey of the USA.

Luciano Ward, for his lovely COLONOSCOPY clue and its cleverly disguised build-up: Medical procedure: “bone clone” (11)

Rob Kingston, for his quirky clue for DAR ES SALAAM with Madagascar just down the road!: Armada sails around seals playing in East African port (3,2,6)

Sam Buttrey for his beautifully disguised (and realized!) Spoonerism for TEST BAN: Bikini work stopped after best tan realized (4,3)

Congratulations! to one and all!

Sincerely, David Akenhead

22nd September, 2020

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