James Leonard, who set crosswords as Mr Lemon and Rustic, died on Sunday 28 April. His great contribution to the crossword world was to establish and edit the Enigmatic Variations crossword series in the Sunday Telegraph, which has been running for over 20 years.
There wasn’t really anyone quite like James. His idiosyncrasies spilled over into his editing (he had a positive genius for overlooking subsidiary meanings in Chambers) but he was always ready to be persuaded by reference to the Big Red Book.
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is his own skill in filling grids, packing in quantities of thematic content while maintaining good levels of checking and interconnectedness. You knew that you would get a good deal of help as you solved the clues and saw the puzzle and its theme emerge.
As with all the best, a difficult act to follow. I gather that something is being prepared for Sunday’s EV, so it may be worth looking out for.