I was asked by Richard Morse to set a puzzle for his father’s retirement as Chancellor of the University of Bristol in 2003. He gave me a list of words for inclusion (if possible) – be warned: one of the ones I chose was fine for the target audience, but is perhaps otherwise not in the average vocabulary. One of the definitions may not be what you expect either. I allowed myself the occasional less common word (Sir Jeremy had a track record in Ximenes and Azed, after all), but there’s nothing I wouldn’t use in an Independent daily.
Sir Jeremy was a name to look up to when I started serious solving, and I was very pleased that he stayed with the APEX annual puzzle when I took it over. I learned from that that he lived in the same London thoroughfare where Mervyn Peake lived at the end of his life – whether the road will ever garner a third blue plaque (Rosalind Franklin was another one-time resident) for the inspirer of Morse remains to be seen. Sir Jeremy didn’t fare terribly well in the APEX contests (2nd prize in the 2007 puzzle was his best), but it was always a pleasure to see the airmail envelopes with his spidery handwriting lying in the postbox. He seemed to have the knack of getting them to arrive on dry days as well. I was very glad to have the chance to provide the puzzle, and it was jolly good of the University to help fund it.
I’ve chosen to present this as an image to show roughly how it appeared to the assembled dignitaries. What you have in the image is a sort of galley proof, and the puzzle has bee mocked up to look like a Times Monday puzzle of the period. (It’s a Monday puzzle, because there’s no solution to Saturday’s prize puzzle!). I have a similar proof of the solution, but it’s far too small, ad there are no notes, so I’ve put up a page with them.
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