University of Buckingham – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Cryptic Crossword Research – that PDM ~ Posted on

“The Penny Drops”

by Kathryn Friedlander and Philip Fine

Philip Fine and I have just published a second article on cryptic crosswords – this time on the ‘PDM’, and how cryptics might help us, as psychologists, to understand the processes behind insight moments. The link is here and the article is free to read on-line or to download as a pdf.… Continue reading >

Cryptic Crossword Research (Update – May 2016) ~ Posted on

Cryptic Crossword Research
by Kathryn Friedlander and Philip Fine

Many of you kindly helped us in our research by completing a very detailed survey of personal background and solving habits, advertised via this board in 2010. We’ve just published some of the results from this large-scale survey in the Open Access international journal ‘Frontiers’, and a link is available here for anyone who is interested in downloading and reading the findings (click on the Download Article button for a pdf).… Continue reading >

Cryptic Crossword Solving Research (Update – Sep 2013) ~ Posted on

Problem-solving ability is key to Cryptic Crossword Success

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Researchers:

Dr. Philip Fine and Dr. Kathryn Friedlander, University of Buckingham

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Cryptic Crossword Solving Research ~ Posted on

A Message from Dr Kathryn Friedlander and Dr Philip Fine

University of Buckingham

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A number of you may have seen some articles last week in the press concerning our crossword research and, in particular, the recorded crossword solving trials we conducted in Buckingham during 2011, which some of you kindly volunteered to assist us in. I’m afraid that (the press being what it is) our research has been rather mangled, and I’d like to set out what the real position is.

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Cryptic Crossword Solving Trials ~ Posted on

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.

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Cryptic Crossword Survey ~ Posted on

Cryptic Crossword Survey

Follow Up

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Kathryn Friedlander has sent the following message:

Thanks for all your help with the survey launch: it all went very smoothly. We’re very pleased indeed with the response: 420 completed returns to date (we were keeping our fingers crossed for 250…).  Best of all is that 179 of these respondents said they would like to help us again in future, so we are hoping that we didn’t annoy too many people with the length of the survey (it *is* long)!

We’ll keep you in touch with the results of the survey as they unfold.  Meanwhile, would it be possible to put a brief note out to your readers passing on our sincere thanks? (The survey is still open, too, for anyone who missed the boat over Easter.)

Very best wishes

Kathryn

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Cryptic Crossword Survey ~ Posted on

Cryptic Crossword Survey

Participants needed

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Kathryn Friedlander and Philip Fine, at the University of Buckingham, are launching an on-line survey to investigate the cognitive skills, motivation and development of expertise of those who tackle cryptic crosswords. They are looking for participants who tackle a ‘broadsheet’ cryptic crossword (such as the Daily Telegraph, Guardian or Independent crosswords) on a fairly regular basis, and who manage to complete it at least sometimes. Ideally, participants will have been solving cryptics for at least one year.

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