Sunday Times Clue writing contest

Hello everyone – this is your old blog organiser with a rare reason for putting something here other than a response to a comment about a Sunday Times puzzle.

I’m setting up a weekly online report on the Sunday Times Clue writing contest (starting with Number 1355 – ABDOMINAL CRUNCH), and I’m adding this contest to the Times Crossword Club content. The reports will be similar to those written about the Azed and Crossword Club contests, and the first few reports will discuss what makes a winning clue. The first report is at (So that readers of the newspaper can see these reports, you won’t need a subscription to any online service to read them.)

The next contest is number 1358 and the word to be clued is BLANK. For anyone thinking of having a go for the first time, here are the details:

Readers are invited to compose their own clues for the word above. Clues must be original and cryptic, of a standard similar to those in the Sunday Times crossword. Send your entry to Clue Writing Contest 1358, The Sunday Times, 3 Thomas More Square, London E98 1ST or email The best entry selected after next Saturday wins £20.

Peter Biddlecombe,
Sunday Times Puzzles Editor

11 comments on “Sunday Times Clue writing contest”

  1. Since 1985, eh? Never noticed it before, Peter. I’m only commenting really to say how brilliantly neat I thought the winning clue for “abdominal crunch” was – whoever did that has talent!
  2. Apologies if anyone can’t get to this at present. The page is currently on the wrong side of the firewall but should pass Siegfried-like through the flames fairly soon.
    1. Already submitted and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
      Now for something completely different.
  3. That was my first thought/idea.

    But I knew that the blank space won’t show up in the post.

  4. Hi Peter
    I’m not sure if you are still monitoring this. Despite a trawl of the site, Google and even a few speculative urls I am having no joy finding the home of the clue writing contest. Can you help?!
      1. Thanks Peter.
        I had tried exactly that but with cluewriting1358 – it’s obviously not available yet and when I hit a 404 message I had assumed I was on the wrong track.
  5. I finally came up with a clue for the quote in the Sunday Times competition and tried to submit it to the website address given……And what I’m directed to is a discussion forum…..? Why is nothing as simple as it seems?
    1. I hope you’re asking about our clue writing contest. If so, entries should be emailed to and this should be clear from the competition instructions, wherever they appear. You can also see the contest at

      As far as I know, nothing related to the clue writing contest should direct you to a discussion forum, which makes me wonder whether you’re asking about something else.

      If this doesn’t help, try emailing me at

      Peter Biddlecombe, Sunday Times Crossword Editor

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