Tuesday, 21st May 2024

Today we are on 317,084 visits. Today, Toronto, Canada are the early leaders.

NATO must admit Ukraine come what may, if adjoining NATO states are to be safe from Russian invasion.

What the World needs now is Love, sweet Love – Bacharach and David and Jackie DeShannon 1964.

My prayers are, and will always be for the children and elderly infirm who are forced to suffer senseless barbarism as a result of all the present turmoil, as well as for the aid workers and medics caught in the cross fire. Cool heads are called for in this time of crisis for ALL adversaries.

Our fragile existence must ensure that war as we know it, must become a luxury no one can afford to risk if our entire planet is to be saved from irreversible devastation. Listen to our children the world over, and help war become an experience of the past, to be replaced with brotherhood and sisterhood for all man and womankind and everything between! Make love, not war! as the old adage goes from the 60s, over and over! We all need to return to our families and rediscover what family love should be all about, a respect for every member’s needs and dignity, before invading other people’s gardens, to paraphrase Voltaire! Nous devons cultiver notre jardin!

Monday, 15th January saw Sweden in pole position with 700 from Stockholm along with Albania equally on 700, where on 4th March 1941 against a lonely Albanian mountainside my 23 year old Australian uncle, RAF and Australian Ace 39967 Flight Lieutenant, Richard Nigel ‘Ape’ Cullen, DFC and Bar met his end in his Hawker Hurricane as 2nd i/c to Pat Pattle South African Ace DFC and Bar, defending a Royal Navy Convoy off Corfu against far superior Axis forces.

We face a similar threat today it seems from a Russia which conveniently forgets their allies saved them from annihilation by Hitler’s Nazi forces back in WW2 thanks to the Baltic Convoys to Archangelsk, the name given too to our pocket battleship HMS Royal Sovereign loaned to Stalin and his navy by Churchill to accompany those convoys in the summer of 1941 post demise of the Bismarck.

We know this because I unearthed the above * spy Times crossword from 4th June 1941, – Wikipedia’s version is utter fiction because a dated and numbered Times crossword tells no lies –  bearing Royal Sovereign’s name in 1941 not 1942! which had it been published when submitted could have alerted Nazi Germany with disastrous consequences with 2 British ships targetted, one a troopship in the evacuation of Crete, Stirling Castle, and the other HMS Royal Sovereign, newly equipped with the latest anti-submarine tech courtesy of the USA and Rosyth shipyards.

We must resist again it seems, thanks to odious adherents to Nazi Europe, and whom we admit to peace negotiations at our peril. Wake up, Europe and America! Once bitten was enough! Make Ukraine a member of NATO immediately! Show the Bear we mean business without Putin who is now threatening a nuclear confrontation in the hope America will not dare intervene! and give support to wise people like Lars Rasmussen of Denmark, and all the heads of the Baltic States. NATO must be strong again, and hopefully with full US backing and with extreme urgency, only then will we be respected.

If Trump, heaven forbid, gets the White House, he must realise that a state of war is what Putin wants with his latest atrocities and threats to the Baltic nations, and if Trump supports him in any way, he must face dire consequences. He is right about one thing though, all NATO members must pay equal dues, or risk becoming targets for extremists. A doubling of the dues by all members will signal to those members that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remains a force to be reckoned with.

Well done Lars Rasmussen, of Denmark, you courageous man. Would there were many more like you. Viva Ukraine! Long live World Peace and Free uninhibited Trade between nations along with the removal of the measly cartels imposed by the super rich on all of us presently. Take note, Canada, in particular!

* As archivist of The Times crossword, I am familiar with the house grids as opposed those of contributors. Most are innocent whereas others reveal sensitive information, operating to a code as to be recognisable to alien forces. Being the sole remaining TC Archivist, I recognise immediately unrecognised grids, always a good starting point!

I have unearthed three definites and this one was the most sensational, witness my detailed Introduction under War Years. Clue in question to Puzzle number 3,518 of June 4, 1941: 8 dn: Game which should make “The Royal Sovereign” secure in all respects (5,3,6) CROWN AND ANCHOR message to mini subs to sink her in her newfound name anchorage and harbour Archangelsk. Crossword received 29th May, published 4th June by which time the harbour defences had been alerted! Thank goodness for British queues! In that selfsame crossword, if further proof were needed, we also have 7 dn: Flying fortress? (8,6) STIRLING CASTLE emphasis on the question mark, with thousands of troops aboard evacuating Crete for the relative safety of Alexandria! by the time this crossword was published that golden opportunity for the Luftwaffe had been lost. Hitler was more preoccupied with Barbarossa and the imminent invasion of Russia!

I am resolved now to concentrate on the Here and Now in 2024 with superlative efforts from some countries but not others. I welcome representatives of any nation on this Earth that does not support terrorists or genocidal maniacs, and respectful of our fragile Earth, women’s rights to equality and respect, and where peace and harmony and truly international cooperation is patently absent at present from its husbandry.

The Times 90th Anniversary Crossword – 9th January, 2021

Further to the announcement by the Puzzles Editor today that I am wholly  responsible for my original 208-clue extravaganza shortly to appear, I have decided, rather than causing unnecessary trouble with a needless adjustment nearly a year on, that it is time I fulfilled his forecast for my digital innovation, in its entirety!

Luciano Ward, Rob Kingston and Sam Buttrey remain accredited in my Extra section for my original challenge to them to produce suitable clues for COLONOSCOPY, DAR ES SALAAM and TEST BAN (Sam’s delightful Spoonerism for Best Tan to commemorate the Atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll and the subsequent fallout still being endured by successive generations from 25th July 1946 and ironically the date of my own birth! what a man, and what a clue in attendance!). All contestants succeeded impressively for the respective competitions of Christmas 2019 and February 2020, in celebration of the 90th Anniversary of The Times crossword on the 1st of February, 2020.

I hope my substitutions did not disappoint!

Three years on, my piece became the subject of my pre-Easter competition for 2024!

My weekly Jumbo Crossword Challenges before and after Easter with the assistance of Microsoft AI have taken on a completeness of their own, starting on a Monday and concluding on Friday with regular grid updates on a unique platform of just a 50% size reduction to house a full on Jumbo grid, a feat described to me earlier as impossible to which I cite my treasured black and white winner’s T-shirt for the Flora London Marathon 2007 ‘you see impossible. I saw the finish line. Impossible is nothing’ my competition format for the first time ever in high resolution, and for the benefit of followers on Linked-in, Facebook and Instagram, a giant leap involving the first two Jumbo crossword books, in their 27 x 27 Grids,courtesy of Edmund Akenhead and his elder son, David, and younger, Robert, in the early 70s when the former was away in Sydney as a final reviser on the Sydney Morning Herald for Fairfax, in 4 ongoing crossword competitions, revealing a blend of hymns Ancient as well as Modern! Enjoy this brand new facility in honour of the Maestro’s memory by the extant team player! Now, like Peter Biddlecombe, imaginative Crossword Editor of The Sunday Times, a pioneer of thematic crosswords, I intend to do something similar with the works of Will Shakespeare, starting on 27th May with The Tempest. I will, of course, limit AI assistance by my own design to ensure the sanctity of joint copyright I share with Times On-Line and the new man at the helm, Mr Lachlan Murdoch, whose enlightened 21st century vision for service to all subscribers keen to preserve a wonderful newspaper, I fully support and subscribe too.

Sincerely, David Akenhead, CEO Akenhead crosswords

The NEW Times Jumbo Crossword Challenges

Go to: https://www.facebook.com/david.akenhead 

Regards,

David Akenhead CEO Akenhead crosswords under licence from Times Newspapers UK Ltd

Feel free to browse my News article and the stand I have chosen to take in support of fellow disadvantaged authors and artists and actors worldwide.

I have reopened my free samples in my Library on this website especially my Games! and some choice crosswords! Enjoy!

My regular News editorials elaborate what is fair play for me, speaking reams of earlier happier days, as Peter Brookes does with his wonderful regular cartoons in The Times – DA

Brilliant cartoon. He and the dead elephant are the only ones in the room!

We were wrong, Charity Commission tells ousted actors

My comment in UK Times – 13th January 2024

Well done, Dame Penelope – good people sidelined, which is very much my own theme too on my crossword website. So rest assured, good Lady, we are right behind you too, and have been from day 1!

I bear no offence to our treasured French readers but Macron spouting about his recent support for Ukraine prompted this from me, 3rd February 2024

Coming from Macron, where Russia, without French industry would soon grind to the halt he openly espouses! Monsieur, Un problème dans son acception la plus courante, est une situation dans laquelle un obstacle empêche de progresser, d’avancer ou de réaliser ce que l’on voulait faire! One word in the English language describes such a person. It is a nine letter word beginning with h and ending in e. Same goes for Monsieur Trudeau, vive la Quebec libre, vive la France, fixing Monsieur Putin’s pipelines and fuelling the largely French vehicles for Russia! Take France and Canada out of the equation and Russia will soon concede that peace talks minus Putin, is their only option! I’m a good chess player. My father taught me well! Russia, with their own chess grand masters will respect my logic, if not me! Bring us to the peace table, and we can yet turn our war shares into plough shares.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars Oscar Wilde

My comment and feedback in Saturday’s UK Times (amended) – 25th November 2023

The solution is simple. Make Ukraine a member of NATO immediately. This should have been done the moment Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine. Negotiating with terrorists and child-snatchers is not, and never will be in my rule book. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is a disgrace to their nation. Putin has to step down, full stop, before we can countenance any negotiating table, and the Kremlin need to get that message loud and clear!

Cecil Graham: What is a cynic? Lord Darlington: A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing Oscar Wilde
To Mr Putin: my own opinion that you remain the ‘afflicted’ lion in question courtesy of Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) and his observation to you in his fable of the one-way traffic (paw prints to the lion’s lair ) – As the fable goes (olim) the cautious fox answered the sick lion’s invitation thus with re-assurances from the latter that there was nothing to fear: ‘because I am frightened on observing that all the expectant signs point towards you and none the other way’
Olim quod vulpes aegroto cauta leoni Respondit referam: ‘quia me vestigia terrent, Omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum’

At the age of four with paper hats and wooden swords we’re all Generals. Only some of us never grow out of it Peter Ustinov

A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car Kenneth Tynan

Posted comment in The Times of Saturday, 4th November

America, Biden! make Palestine a US Protectorate immediately is my advice, as one who enjoyed nearly 15 years of peacefulness and respect, within a similar potential powder keg facing us today, housing members from most of the Middle East, North Africa and a fair bit of India and Ceylon as well, and friends and foe alike from all the main players from WW1 and WW2, Tanganyika under Lord and Lady Twining, with their open house every year to everyone at Government House, in gardens worthy of Kew, as their welcoming card to all, along with the band of the Royal Marines, always a crowd-puller, and afforded us all a state of bliss, in sharp contrast to our neighbours in Kenya facing perpetual strife from Mau Mau, and Ian Smith to our south in Rhodesia. There has to be a lesson in this, and I pray America and Blinken will grab it for the sake of innocent Palestinians and Israelis, alike, both of whom have my compassion. I’m sure the King of Jordan will support me in this, and perhaps the Arab League of Nations too. Another huge crowd-puller was the annual East African Safari, starting and ending in Dar es Salaam for competitors after facing some of the most challenging roads on planet Earth! Does anyone know what Dar es Salaam means in Arabic? It means Haven of Peace!

Netanyahu needs to reflect on healing, not devastating, but an attack on Israel has now become an attack on the free World. Embassies are supposed to house Diplomats not Terrorists to ensure their sanctity. America can help with people like US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken to ease a path – DA

Isaiah 11:6 – King James Version

The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.

13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 19: 13 & 14 (KJV).

I continue to offer my readership and my digital products on my increasingly popular website to HarperCollins gratis with a direct link to their website via mine and indeed recommend subscribing to TOL themselves! – DA

Aside my token requests to restore my Jumbo royalties with whatever I am due, and my former title at The Times, I’d like to promote the Sun crossword titles again in digital format, as inventor of The Sun Computer Crosswords and long time Proofs Editor of their crossword books.

Finally, since the phenomenal surge in interest in my work from 30th December onwards, I have decided that I will only display nations’ flags henceforth, if the combined presence on my website for the day’s entry registers 1,000 visits or more.

April 2024

5th April – with 1,615 Visits (12 hours)

Browser Country City Date Platform Referrer Visits
Chrome United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 1391
Firefox China Hubei, China 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 34
Firefox Germany Germany 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 13
Chrome United States USA 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown binance.com 12
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 9
Safari United States USA 5th April 2024 iOS Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 8
Chrome China Shanghai, China 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 5
Unknown Bulgaria Svishtov, Oblast Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria 5th April 2024 Android Unknown www.google.com 4
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United States North Bergen, New Jersey 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United States Los Angeles, California 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United Kingdom Camberwell, Southwark UK 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome China Shanghai, China 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome China Shanghai 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome China Shanghai 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome China Shanghai 5th April 2024 OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Unknown Poland Poland 5th April 2024 Unknown Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
NetFront Spain Madrid 5th April 2024 Unknown Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Firefox United States Jacksonville, Florida 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome United States USA 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Russian Federation Omsk, Omskaya Oblast’, Russian Federation 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Edge China Zhejiang, China 5th April 2024 Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2

February 2024

20th February – with 4,238 Visits (12 hours)

Browser Country City Date Platform Referrer Visits
Opera Ireland Dublin, Leinster 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 1401
Opera Ireland Dublin, Leinster 20 Feb OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 1145
Chrome United Kingdom London, UK 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 1145
Firefox United Kingdom London, UK 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 367
Unknown Ireland Dublin, Leinster 20 Feb Android Unknown www.google.com 48
Chrome India Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 32
Chrome Moldova (the Republic of) Moldova 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 13
Internet Explorer United States USA 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 8
Chrome United States USA 20 Feb Windows Unknown binance.com 6
Internet Explorer United States USA 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 5
Internet Explorer United States Virginia 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 5
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Internet Explorer United States USA 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 3
Unknown Russian Federation Kazan’, Tatarstan Republic 20 Feb Unknown Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome United States USA 20 Feb Linux Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Safari China Jiangsu, China 20 Feb iOS Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Russian Federation Omsk, Omskaya Oblast’ 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Unknown Germany North Rhine-Westphalia 20 Feb Unknown Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Internet Explorer Russian Federation Russian Federation 20 Feb Windows Unknown crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome United States Provo, Utah 20 Feb Windows Unknown simplesite.com 2
Chrome China China 20 Feb Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Safari Japan Unknown 20 Feb iOS Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Argentina Mendoza, Argentina 20 Feb Windows Unknown simplesite.com 2
Chrome Russian Federation Russian Federation 20 Feb Windows Unknown crosswordsakenhead.com 2

January 2024

Sun 28th January – with 2,011 Visits (12 hours)

Browser Country City Date Platform Referrer Visits
Chrome United Kingdom London, UK 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 628
Firefox United States USA 28 Jan Linux Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 577
Firefox United States USA 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 577
Vivaldi United States Ashburn, Missouri 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 85
Chrome France France 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 12
Chrome Moldova (the Republic of) Moldova 28 Jan Windows Unknown binance.com 12
Safari United States West Chester, Pennsylvania 28 Jan iOS Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 10
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 5
Chrome Canada Oromocto, New Brunswick 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 4
Firefox United States Tempe, Arizona 28 Jan OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 4
Chrome Ukraine Ukraine 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 4
Chrome France Roubaix, North 28 Jan Windows Unknown crosswordsakenhead.com 4
Chrome United States Tempe, Arizona 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 4
Chrome United States Clifton, New Jersey 28 Jan OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 4
Internet Explorer Russian Federation Russian Federation 28 Jan Windows Unknown kinopled.com 3
Chrome Russian Federation Omsk, Omskaya Oblast’ 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Russian Federation Russian Federation 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Safari Japan Japan 28 Jan iOS Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Russian Federation Moscow 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Belarus Belarus 28 Jan OS X Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome United Kingdom Camberwell, Southwark 28 Jan Windows Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome United States Los Angeles, California 28 Jan Windows Unknown simplesite.com 2
Unknown United States Los Angeles, California 28 Jan Unknown Unknown www.crosswordsakenhead.com 2
Chrome Italy Italy 28 Jan Windows Unknown simplesite.com 2
Chrome Japan Japan 28 Jan Windows Unknown simplesite.com 2

War has overnight become a luxury of the past and we need to think 21st century now. Only the combined brains of this world from every single nation can safeguard our increasingly fragile eco-structure. Our late Queen made a memorable start with her Commonwealth tree-planting initiative. In support of which, this too from the late great founder of our crossword, Adrian Bell:

The oldest profession? (9) GARDENING says it all really, that and celebrating our humanity through sport in all its noblest aspirations. Well done, Prince Harry, for the vets. Your courage in the field too is legend!

1 ac. In order of celebration, the ayes have it, it seems! (4,5,4,2) GOOD QUEEN BESS II

1 ac. Silvery-white Ode to Joy, 21st Century style! (8,7) PLATINUM JUBILEE

At the outbreak of World War 2, our beloved Queen Elizabeth was a 14 year old Princess along with her joie de vivre 11 year old sister, Princess Margaret,

both facing an uncertain life ahead but with a sense of duty and devotion to their country reflected in their father King George VI and their own broadcasts to the children in England separated from their families, rather similar to families in Ukraine today, conveying encouragement and hope; but young Elizabeth wanted to go further and by her 18th birthday had persuaded her father that she wished to join the ATS and do her bit for the war effort at their HQ in Aldershot near Windsor Castle.

So it was in autumn 1944 that she met my mother, Angela, and my godmother Stella Cody as she later became, who had both joined the service earlier, and who now acquainted Princess Elizabeth with the business of both driving and servicing Army ambulances, both already well aquainted with their nightly missions of tending in low visibility to the devastation, wounded and dying from London’s Blitz. Below pictures of my mother in 1940 as a young Corporal, after enlisting in the ATS on her 21st birthday, with a troupe of dedicated, selfless, quiet and truly heroic army girls and nurses, culminating in 1944 elevated to Captain, with Stella, by this time her staff sergeant i/c driving lessons, both charged with assisting the young princess in familiarising her and her vehicle with basic mechanics on the one hand, and manoeuvring it in blackout conditions, on the other, both of which she accomplished the following year with flying colours!

Also my father below, an RAF pilot and glider pilot in the newly formed AAC who she met in a pub in 1944 – promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Edmund Akenhead TD by war end.

‘You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine. There’s a little light in all of us by God’s design’ Marty Cooper and Donna Fargo USA

Restoration of my late father, Edmund Akenhead’s Arms, pursuant to Queen Victoria’s Amnesty to landed Scottish families post Culloden (ours a Sept of Gordon) and graciously granted to my father and his descendants in perpetuity by Queen Elizabeth the Second and the College of Arms on the 31st October 1989.

Witness below, a handful of clues including our treasured national institution (apart from the tea!), namely our beloved Times crossword, stemming from its inception some ninety-three years ago! Remainder can be found in my new AZ Sketches by DA (courtesy of Boz!).

Her attachment to Poe makes her also write verse (4) TESS

Saw one of the team off then? (5) TENON

There’s no limit to what a sick kangaroo will do (9) BOUNDLESS

Unsuitable entertainment for Father’s Day? (3,8) POP FESTIVAL

Conference material? Impressive! (5) SATIN

What Peter Brookes renders to The Times in pictures, we cryptic wallahs attempt in words!

“Madam, I’m Adam” — the world’s first? (10) PALINDROME fits as does  (4-2-4) CHAT-UP-LINE

Inevitable response to that, of course is:

Madam? EVE! (mad am!!) (5,8) CHAIN REACTION

Bowler seen at Dover – and at Boulogne (6)

Vma Nair a cricket authority in India, got it, and as I remarked to him, a bit tongue in cheek!

SEAMER

    Vma Nair to

    David Akenhead more clues please

    Short ball and extended dance, paradoxically (4,3)

    LONG HOP

    David Akenhead, former Crossword Consultant to The Times operating under licence from Times Newspapers (UK) Limited and as CEO Akenhead crosswords

Visits to date over 3,000 (24 hours)

Thu 1st February     2024                   8,676

Wed 31st January   2024                    7,346

Mon 8th January      2024                    7,134

Tue 30th January    2024                    6,075

Mon 20th February 2024                   6,006

Wed 10th January    2024                     5,693

Wed 24th January    2024                    5,039

Wed 21st February 2024                    4,833

Mon 29th January  2024                    4,326

Tue 9th January       2024                     4,301

Tue 23rd January     2024                     4,206

Sat 24th February   2024                    3,869

Tue 16th January      2024                     3,759

Sun 25th February  2024                    3,742

Sun 18th February  2024                    3,687

Mon 15th January    2024                     3,681

Sun 7th January       2024                     3,574

Sat 17th February   2024                     3,395

Sun 4th February    2024                     3,386

Thu 22nd February 2024                     3,152

Sun 11th February  2024                     3,039

Sat 10th February   2024                     3,001

Interesting article by my father for Times News, the House Journal of Times Newspapers, February 1976 Edition where he indulges his readers in the mathematical intricacies of a Mastermind competition in which he was an entrant – father was very much into code-breaking in his War years, and as usual, a master of understatement.

As a quiet multi-lingual RAF rudimentary test fighter pilot earlier, he also later flew light aircraft low at night under radar behind enemy lines. I only gleaned this information at the very end of his life in a 5 hour game of chess (which he eventually won instinctively on close to empty!) on enquiring about his TD when he brushed off landing his glider and troop plus jeep 50 miles behind enemy lines prior to the Rhine crossings as nothing much really, and in any case something he had done before at night and in a much lighter aircraft, a Lysander, in more challenging circumstances!

The headline and the signature are adequate evidence of the veritas without any need for the interim RTP or QED!

– 

23rd out of an original field of 800 plus, wasn’t bad going!

Looking on the bright side (and not new), Pimm’s No. 1 time in order! (8) OPTIMISM

And on that note perhaps it’s worth observing that my Chinese following probably comes from Yunnan and Guangdong, and Hong Kong. In Yunnan, Li Jiang in 2007 I was deputy to Verle Ackerstaffe at the Cambridge International Language school where we taught English and Drama to neigbouring students from China, the Himalayas, Tibet and Burma, having taught earlier in Guangdong Province, China, too.

My Russian following stems from my successful Sunday Times Crossword Compendium, where in Moscow for an entire year in 1996 we were featured in their Games and Puzzles Top Ten.

And my Singapore following, undoubtedly stems from my earlier days with Harper Collins, and my visit there in 2002 promoting my computer crosswords alongside the crossword books through their agent in Borders, US booksellers, established across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and my friendship with Allan Wong and his wife Mei Chan both prominent in the modern Singapore (as well as in India) where they were most gracious hosts to me and my daughter, Charlotte.

                                Countries (195)  Visits

Total to date

72,991

317,084

Wise words from a beacon of light in a troubled world:

“Come in I’ll give ya shelter, shelter from the storm” Bob Dylan, 18th September 1974

David Akenhead, CEO Akenhead crosswords, 21st May, 2024

Visits: 325