A happy new year to you.
It has been a surprisingly busy week, working through the last of the Christmas puzzles to embark on the ones piled up behind them. The clues for the 2022 APEX puzzle are coming in, and APEX 2023 has been gridded.
The solution to Clock Patience is now appended to its page. Next time I may say a little about its history.
The puzzle this time round is a Beelzebub from Christmas 2008 – I might as well squeeze in one last seasonal puzzle! It does reveal the limited scope we had for seasonal fun and games. I had a couple of lines to warn of a gimmick, whereas the Observer and Guardian run to paragraphs.
January is shaping up as a quiet month for published puzzles – the Independent Friday puzzles are now back on Fridays, after some sidesteps over the holiday period. There’s a Times Quick Cryptic from Pedro on 18 January. Further ahead (and there’ll be a reminder next time) is an Enigmatic Variations puzzle at the end of the month.
Those who notice the numbering of puzzles will be aware that the Telegraph Toughie is due to reach a significant milestone right at the end of the month, and I gather plans are in hand for something special. Somewhat further ahead – though perhaps no longer as far ahead as I would like – is Inquisitor 1800. Dates for your diaries to follow.