Just a few things to augment what I was saying about New Zealand crosswords last time.
David Tossman helpfully pointed out that the non-Kropotkin blocked cryptic on the Herald’s puzzle page was the Observer Everyman of about a fortnight earlier. Strange that there is no attribution, though it’s nice to see the Herald using something from The Guardian stable – recently (online especially) they’ve been inclined to use the Daily Mail when carrying UK syndicated stuff (which contrasts markedly with their US choice of the Washington Post).
David also updated me on some other regional puzzles, and I may as well quote him directly:
I should have mentioned that the two Shukers are father and son. The father sets the general knowledge puzzle in the Listener. Between them they had what I suspect was quite a good business selling a variety of puzzles — many of their own invention — the international rights to which they sold to another syndication company a few years ago. The latter company, I can’t remember the name, is based in Tauranga but the proprietor is English. Amongst, I am sure, many other things he sells the bridge and the chess column to the NZ Listener.
The Press in Christchurch runs a weekend cryptic by a local setter, Barbara Brown. The Waikato Times had local setter for their weekend cryptic for many years, a Mr or perhaps Dr Easther. He died recently. [Editorial insertion: see this article.]
My predecessor with the Listener began supplying a semi-cryptic in 1940 and retired in 1997. Most of my solvers learnt the tricks from her but her puzzles — many straight-clue definitions unaltered from the dictionary, at least two complete-the-quotations — would have been museum pieces in the UK by the time I took over.
Kropotkin has been in touch as well, advising me of his Facebook page. This looks like it gives you images of the puzzles legible enough for solving; he says he also circulates puzzles to people outside the Herald circulation area (effectively the South Island, though, to be honest, it isn’t always easy to find the Herald in Wellington).
I shall update the original post with some of the above.
My own timetable: a setter’s blog on the IQ puzzle Triptych in the middle of the week, and an unpublished Beelzebub next weekend. There are more setter’s blogs on the horizon due to the flurry of puzzles at the start of the month.