Richard Palmer – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Richard Palmer

Richard at the Listener Dinner 2014 (Cheltenham)

We’ve just heard that one of our Saturday setters, Richard Palmer, who was also Messinae in The Toughie series, passed away in hospital yesterday. Richard was a much respected and admired setter across the whole of the crossword world. He compiled over 200 puzzles for the Telegraph, many on a Saturday and they were always enjoyable and contained a nice touch of humour. He set barred puzzles for EV, IQ and Listener under the pseudonym Merlin and was very popular and successful in that part of the crossword world.

I am sure we all send our sympathies to his family and friends.  RIP Richard.


19 comments on “Richard Palmer

  1. Such sad news, he’s given us so much pleasure through his puzzles.
    Sincere condolences to his family, thank you for sharing him with us.

  2. It was I who broke this news to the crossword world earlier this evening, having been phoned by Richard’s wife Marolyn. Richard and I go back to 1971 as colleagues at The Institute of Physics and fellow clue-writers and setters. We have always been the best of friends and in close touch. I emailed him about his recent second prize in heh Azed competition on Wednesday. There is much i coud say, but not right now. So very sad to lose my old chum.

    1. Yes, incredibly sad news. You may not know that Richard had another important string to his recreational bow. He was very well known and respected in Bristol chess, having been a member of the Downend and Fishponds club and its Secretary for a staggering 27 years and also editor of the local league’s newsletter. The same skills he brought to crosswords manifested itself many times in games which are still there for posterity to appreciate. He was also a huge Leicester City fan and was one of many greatly and gratefully surprised by their recent successes. I think he enjoyed bringing sporting connotations, either subtle or not so subtle, into his clues. He will be greatly missed.

  3. One of the true greats. I have always loved his work, and relished the challenges his sometimes astonishing clues set. I mourn him. RIP

    My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  4. For many years I have enjoyed the challenge of the Saturday Telegraph crossword – often thinking about a friend from many years ago, Richard, whose ambition for as long as I knew him was to retire and to be able to set puzzles for the Telegraph. Sadly, as often happens, we lost touch over the years and it was only tonight that I saw this commemorative note on Big Dave and realised who had often been setting those taxing clues! Little did I know. Thank you Richard and sending love and condolences to Marilyn, Clare and Andrew xx

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