A rare visit from your founder …

… who realised the other day that he was getting ready for his 25th appearance at the Times Crossword Championship.  I put together some text and photos about memories on a Facebook page.  You should not need Facebook membership to read it at https://www.facebook.com/peter.biddlecombe.1/posts/10156876890166473

Best of luck to those competing today – may see you at the George later.

12 comments on “A rare visit from your founder …”

  1. Many thanks for posting this. The Championship is a great institution and deserves support.
    I am still in the early stages of my crossword journey but improving quickly. I once asked you how to improve and your answer was “Do lots of puzzles”. Good advice.
    I will be at The George later. Will we get a new winner this year I wonder?
  2. Peter thank you for the fascinating memoir. I sadly will never reach the heady heights of the Championship. I am a “30 minute” man but the Times crossword has been an important part of my life since I was a teenager a very long time ago.
  3. Very nice to hear from you and get the definitive timeline. The only time I attended (2013) I was too jet-lagged to make it to the pub sadly but I did meet quite a lot of the regulars between heats. And I managed not to make a complete fool of myself (my principal aim other than socialising) coming in at about the 60/100 mark in the first prelim. Wish I could be there today.
  4. Shock horror – Magoo made a mistake in the final resulting in him coming a mere 8th!!! The winner was Roger Crabtree, whose name I recognise though I’m not sure from where. Verlaine and keriothe made the final with Verlaine coming in a fantastic second place.

    I was well chuffed with coming 61/84 on my first time out. It was great to meet several of you for the first time and I shall be a regular at meet ups in London from now on.

    1. I was also interested to see the name Allan Saldanha amongst the finalists. I remember him as a child prodigy on Countdown some 30 years ago, aged 10. It was very nostalgic to see his name and good to see his quizzing skills are still going strong.
    2. Roger has been in quite a few finals in the last decade or so, so was one of the people likely to win when Mark eventually made a mistake. Without looking at past results, I’m pretty sure Allan Saldanha has reached the final before.
      1. I think Roger has been in 12 of the 13 finals since 2006, as have Helen and Mark, with David Howell the only contestant to appear in all 13. The next most is 10 (Alan Dorn).
  5. Lovely memoir, Peter, thanks. Nice to meet you at the bar this afternoon, next time I’ll buy you a pint.
  6. Also worth noting the contingent of present or former competitive Scrabble mavens – David Webb is a highly-ranked expert, Allan Saldanha used to play at an exceptionally high level before giving up the circuit, and others such as Evan Simpson were in the heats

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