Toughie No 566 by Firefly
A Day of Sadness
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***** – Enjoyment ***
Greetings from the Calder Valley.
The blog is tinged with sadness today as I learned yesterday of the death of Mike Laws. Mike was a former Times Crossword Editor, and was currently Independent Magazine (Inquisitor) Crossword Editor. Mike set puzzles under many pseudonyms including Fawley in the Guardian, Jude, Yorick and Ikela and others. I think he also had a couple of EV puzzles published in the Sunday Telegraph over the years. He also provided one in three of the Mephisto Crosswords in the Sunday Times. Many of you probably won’t have heard of him but his influence on the crossword world is immense. He was a larger-than-life character who was one of the experts both as a setter, editor and aficionado. His unusual appearance belied one of the most amazing minds and I know that many setters have benefited from his warm words of encouragement and advice.
A look at the Message Board on the Crossword Centre (http://www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=dharrison) will tell you the high regard in which Mike was held.
RIP Mike, we are all the better for having met and known you and your influence on the crossword world will live long with all of us.
Back to today’s Firefly and this was a ferocious challenge, one of the toughest we have had for a while. It’s a pangrammatic puzzle (one with all the letters of the alphabet inside). It is also noticeable that there aren’t too many correct solvers on the Telegraph leader-boards, which is a sure-fire indication of where this sits on the difficulty scale. Some clever clues, although a couple seemed a bit too clever for their own good. I found it quite difficult to get a foot-hold in the puzzle and although my first few answers were in the top right corner, so was the last one I entered!