A Big “Thank You” from Rufus – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Big “Thank You” from Rufus

The last ten days have been very busy, and very enjoyable, for me, and so many people have taken time and effort to make it so. From the February 18th surprise party at my local pub, to a family gathering last weekend in a Derbyshire farmhouse, via a reception at the Guardian on the Eve of my 80th birthday, I have been taken by surprise by the tremendous warmth and friendliness of people in the crossword world.

I think it all started when I was invited down to the Telegraph last year to record a short piece for the One Show regarding the perennial subject of the D-Day crosswords having code-words associated with the invasion appearing in Telegraph crosswords.  I met John Henderson (Elgar / Nimrod) working on his crosswords in the bar, and somehow my 80th birthday was mentioned. John immediately said he would provide a themed crossword for that date.

Things seemed to snowball from there. John was joined by other setters to provide a Guardian puzzle and also an FT puzzle, while Dean Mayer (Elkamere / Anax) decided to set a Telegraph “toughie”.

In the event, three extremely clever (you will realise that I was not personally involved) crosswords appeared on February 22nd. I can only stand back and say “Phew” and “Thanks” to all of the setters involved.

I should also like to thank everybody that took the journey to Shropshire for the surprise party which was a lovely start to the events. A very enjoyable day.

The Guardian reception was very enjoyable, meeting the editor, Alan Rusbridger, my wife’s favourite writer Polly Toynbee, who I was delighted to discover was a Rufus fan, and quite a number of fellow setters. The presentations of framed articles and celebratory themed puzzles was another pleasant surprise.

Both the above events were photographed for 15² and Big Dave’s Blog by Jane (JetDoc) Tether, who was also involved with husband John in organising things.

When we returned home the day before setting off for the weekend planned by Anna, we had over a 100 cards – and I thank everyone who very kindly sent them.

All in all, I feel very honoured and privileged.  Thank you all!

6 comments on “A Big “Thank You” from Rufus

  1. Dear Rufus, It was a pleasure and privledge to have been involved – Jane & I look forward to the 90th. Wishing you both fair winds, and following seas – but never be late for Charlie !! Digby

  2. A Belated happy birthday Rufus…luckily having spoken to you and knowing a little about your past it made Elkameres toughie quite tame for once…LOL.lots of clues…

  3. Hi Rufus from Pommette in the Vega Baja

    It was wonderful to meet you at the Bloggers & Setters event in Derby last November. Not only wonderful, but for me a privilege, having admired your crosswords in the DT & Grauniad since pommers re-introduced me to cryptic crosswords almost 6 years ago when we moved to Spain..

    I used to find cryptics HARD, often impenetrable, but I somehow found yours so much more accessible than many others. You gave me the first crossword that I ever managed to complete entirely on my own – no electronic aids, no dictionaries, no help from this blog and no help from my own personal blogger!!!! It got me out of the Clueless Club and It was an amazing feeling and brought a huge smile to my face.

    I still smile most weeks because now I often spot the answers to your crosswords faster than pommers does!! Wow :grin:

    I am sorry that we couldn’t get to your birthday celebrations – it must have been a fantastic day from all you have said.

    Long may you continue to produce your fantastic puzzles and here’s to the next 10 years when I will be the first at your 90th celebrations.

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