Cryptic Crossword Survey – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Cryptic Crossword Survey

Cryptic Crossword Survey

Participants needed

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Kathryn Friedlander and Philip Fine, at the University of Buckingham, are launching an on-line survey to investigate the cognitive skills, motivation and development of expertise of those who tackle cryptic crosswords. They are looking for participants who tackle a ‘broadsheet’ cryptic crossword (such as the Daily Telegraph, Guardian or Independent crosswords) on a fairly regular basis, and who manage to complete it at least sometimes. Ideally, participants will have been solving cryptics for at least one year.

If you would like to take part, simply click the following link to be taken to the survey:

It will take 30-40 minutes, but previous participants seem to have found the experience enjoyable – and even thought-provoking!  You can leave the survey at any point if you no longer wish to participate.

If you want further information, or have difficulty getting into the survey, please contact Kathryn by emailing her: kathryn{dot}friedlander{at}

[If you have already participated in this survey at its last release (in 2007/2008) please don’t complete it again!]

[I am aware that this is being published on April 1st, but this is a genuine survey and not a joke!  BD]

9 comments on “Cryptic Crossword Survey

  1. I enjoyed the survey. I have been taking more of an interest in crosswords recently. I have read Tim Moorey’s book and fancy trying to get a copy of Macnutt’s Art of the Crossword. Why is this out of print? The survey was interesting and made me want to find out a bit more about Listener style crosswords.
    Thanks for the link, Dave.

    1. Mark

      The Ximenes book was republished in 2001, but even that appears to be out of print. I obtained a copy of the original from Amazon Germany, and they do come up on Amazon and eBay from time to time.

        1. Shameless self-promotion, but for a reason – honest!

          Glad you invested in Tim’s book, Mark. The only puzzle of mine to reappear in book form (as far as I know) gets coverage from page 177, but the reason I mention it is I was struggling to think of a clue example where the answer def makes unexpected use of a verb tense (this arose after the clue for WITHSTAND in my last NTSPP). The puzzle in Tim’s book uses a similar idea at 9a, although not with the antonym slant of the WITHSTAND clue.

          1. I bought Tim Moorey’s as well the other week. I found that whilst I kind of knew the constructions etc it still helps to clarify one’s mind.
            Not had a crack at p177 yet, though!.

            1. Hi Anax. I am now even more in awe of you than before as the puzzle you set is described as “one of the best ever to have been published in The Times”!
              I am working through some of the practice puzzles in the book, but they are really hard! However, my solving of the DT cryptic is improving.

  2. Help…anyone have an e mail address for the person doing the survey?

    Its just that when I did it earlier ( no toughie today…so time to spare) I was viewing it as a crossword…ie fill in all the blanks….but the last blank…tell us more I left blank…now having contemplated it I should have said something…..

    Just had an eureka moment…….I can see where they are coming from…….especially in the later half…….all those questions about maths….I replied by I dont do sudoko…..I dont see the challenge…maths has only one answer….Its an exact science….It may have looked to them I am mathematically challenged…but no..Maths was my best subject at school….but I was challenged by being …oh here we go…still challenged by being Dyslexic? or something like that…

    My thoughts on cryptics…are connection with the human brain…delighting in being challlenged…and the reward of communication…and what a rich language we have evloved…its not science…but it shows progress to being aware of each other…there ends the leson..welll not quite….I find it totally absorbing that groups can formulate …


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