Cryptic Crossword Solving Trials – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Cryptic Crossword Solving Trials

Cryptic Crossword Solving Trials

at the University of Buckingham

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A number of you may remember the cryptic crossword survey which we ran at Easter last year.  In total we have about 750 completed responses to the questionnaire which is a very pleasing number.  As a follow-up to the survey, we are currently engaged in lab-based trials at the University of Buckingham involving the filming of individual solvers as they wrestle with a daily blocked cryptic.  We’re also getting participants to play a few word-games and to take a pen-and-paper problem solving test.  The total time is about 2.5 hours.

We are aiming to film 25 participants altogether and are looking to recruit a small number of solvers who (say) take from 30mins to over an hour to solve a daily block-style cryptic.  You would also need to have taken and completed our survey last year, or be willing to take it now.

I’m afraid that our budget is tight, and we could offer only £20 for out-of-pocket expenses (though we supply tea, coffee and biscuits!).  So you would probably need to live reasonably close to Buckingham, or be able to combine the trip with another, to make it worthwhile.  But we are hoping that the challenge and interest of taking part in these trials might also provide at least some compensation…!

If you would be interested in taking part, or would like more information, please do let us know using the contact box below[applications are now closed].  The trials are running on till May/June at a rate of one participant a week, so we could be very flexible on dates.  We normally start at about 10:30am on a weekday morning, though this, too, can be varied.

Kathryn Friedlander and Philip Fine

University of Buckingham