Well, let’s try to anyway, with a puzzle from the Enigmatic Variations series – thanks to the Sunday Telegraph for permission to share it with you.
Sunday – ah, yes, still no sign of a resurgent Beelzebub. The Guardian crossword blog commented thus this week, though I can’t say that they got my best side in the photo they used. D’you think? If the situation continues then I’ll see whether I can start using the unpublished puzzles on the site next month.
And I do mean May – I am aware it’s already April. The April Fool puzzle I produced for yesterday’s slot in The Independent seems to have had a mixed reception. It was worth trying, though. There are certainly many people who are perfectly happy to stick with their daily puzzle – and there are certainly many who want to try other things and will want to graduate to more intricate fare. If you don’t occasionally provide a bridge between the types, then it is rather less likely that people will be exposed to the full range. I still recall my own faltering first steps with The Listener, edging up from doing the dailies, and Azed. These days the bridges seem to be more frequent, somewhat due to the infamous Nina.
Another reason for deferring the appearance of Beelzebub is the need to slot in the 2015 APEX puzzle and its results. They will be going out within the next 24 hours, all being well. There is still one postal entry out there, and one regular (albeit generally after-the-last-minute) judge out there, so I shall be allowing another 24 hours before the emails go out. The puzzle should appear here in four weeks’ time.
If you have time, do look at the Times Jumbo today. The Times has me in the Quick Cryptic slot next Wednesday, when it will be futile turning to the Telegraph Toughie to hope for escape. Likewise the regular Independent appearance next Friday will be buttressed by a standard Times cryptic the same day. And I hope to run a gentle guessing-game amongst the denizens of fifteensquared for The Independent puzzle that day.