Phil Rose's crossword pages

This set of web pages is very much experimental. It will be expanded as time goes on


rec.puzzles.crosswords is a Usenet news group dedicated to the art of crosswords. If you are at all interested in solving or creating crosswords or individual clues you will be welcome here.

Four competitions are maintained for the netizens of rec.puzzles.crosswords. Generally the winner of one competition is invited to set the next in that particular thread. I have provided a copy of the most recent competition in each thread together with the results of the previous one. Important Notice I have taken the copies as they appear in the newsgroup or in a mailing list. I may not always be able to keep them as up-to-date as I would like. I acknowledge all original authorship of these postings.

Araucaria Clueing Contest ACC

This is named after a crossword setter, whose contributions in the British newspaper The Guardian are well appreciated in this household. This is the most challenging of the contests. Individual contests in this thread tend to be thematic these days.

Clue Writing Competition CWC

Normally two words are provided for which entrants are invited to set a cryptic clue.

Collaborative Cryptic Crossword Constructors Championship C5

In this thread the host of each competition provides words that fill in a further 3 lights in a standard 15x15 crossword. Contestants are then invited to clue the words using different styles for each.

People's Clue Writing Competition PCWC

This thread of competitions provides everyone with a chance to play God. Having solicited clues for a single word or phrase, the moderator then asks for readers of the newsgroup to vote on the clues. The current competition included here will be either the original competition word or the ballot depending on the stage of the competition.

Usenet Crossword Publishing Project UCPP

This is dissimilar to the other competitions. Although each round is competitive with points awarded for winners, runners-up and 'honourable mentions', the aim is to create a 15x15 cryptic crossword, that can be published through-out the English-speaking world. For further information visit this site maintained by Michael Curl (aka Orlando - one of the Guardian's compilers).

James Lundon's mailing list

An enthusiastic individual, James A. Lundon, maintains a mailing list for the competitions. If you wish to subscribe e-mail him at James also maintains the FAQ and archives.

How to check that a word hasn't been used

The newsgroup FAQ provides a list of words used in each competition. I have ordered this list alphabetically so that it can be searched.

The newsgroup FAQ

The FAQ, Frequently asked questions document is available from the main FAQ repository and there is an HTML version of this FAQ maintained by Pete Mitchell, however this a large document (> 100 kB). Micahel Curl has produced a structured version of the FAQ.

Where can I find on-line crosswords?

Various newspapers publish on-line crosswords: the following is a list of those I've found. For various commercial reasons the newspapers prefer links to their home pages as generally they like users to register. The crosswords are easily found from there.

Other Web-sites

These are a few I've come across or been advised of.

Michael Curl's Crossword WebGuide, another collection of crossword links. Michael compiles a number of crosswords for UK national newspapers. He also publishes a monthly on-line crossword,  which he claims is of the same standard as the Guardian newspaper, but more internationally accessible.

Puzzlemania, a publisher of crosswords and puzzles have asked me to provide a link to their site. In their words, Your source for educational, entertaining, fun, recreational, interactive online/offline crossword puzzles, games and software for newspapers, magazines, schools, colleges, companies and the general public.

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