Boatman & Friends in Conversation – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Boatman & Friends in Conversation

Waterstones Brighton 19 January 2017

Ashley Knowles (Boatman) will be at Waterstones in Brighton from 7 pm on Thursday 19 January to host a rare joint appearance of Guardian Crossword Editor, Hugh Stephenson and John Halpern (Paul in the Guardian readers, Mudd in the Financial Times, Punk in the Independent and one of the panel of setters for the Times) to talk about the art, practice and future of crossword compiling and to answer your questions.

This is a free event, open to all who love cryptic crosswords. Bring a bottle and relax.

Ashley will also be signing copies of his book, Boatman – the first 50: collected crosswords from the Guardian and the stories behind them and John will have his books, including his most recent release, The History of the Crossword.

    Fiendish and inimitable, Boatman is widely regarded as one of Britain’s most challenging and innovative compilers of cryptic crosswords. In this book, you’ll find fifty of his puzzles from the Guardian, with an additional bonus crossword that was first published online in the Genius slot. So much more than a puzzle book, here Boatman tells the story in his own words behind the development of each crossword: how he thought of the theme, the ideas that didn’t make it into print and the unlikely coincidences that emerged afterwards. You’ll discover his working methods and the lively relationship between setter and editor, be able to enjoy extra teaser clues and hear from the solvers who took the time to comment on the puzzles when they were first published. All the crosswords in this collection have been freshly typeset to make solving them an even greater joy, with full solutions and explanations of all the wordplay.Expect many hours of pleasure here, whether you’re coming to Boatman’s puzzles for the first time, looking for older pieces you may have missed in print, rediscovering half-forgotten favourites or returning to try again with a few that may have defeated you the first time round.
    The crossword has been the most consistently successful puzzle of modern times. Forget riddles, conundrums or Sudoku, the crossword is the original and best word puzzle and it has truly stood the test of time. This book celebrates the world’s favourite word puzzle by recounting the history of it, alongside examples of puzzles and words of wisdom from puzzle setters, crossword editors and members of the public who have racked their brains to find the solution to that elusive clue.