Alas, as I simply don’t seem to have the time, with an unexpectedly tight deadline requiring accommodation, and proofs to check, and a little run of puzzles to be typed up and accounted for.
I would draw your attention to the latest book by Martin Amis (Inside Story), which is a sort of fictionalised memoir presented as a novel. As with much Amis, it isn’t quite as good as he thinks it is, which doesn’t in any way prevent it being very good. There is a glancing footnoted reference to crosswords (not the chapter entitled ‘Beelzebub’, unfortunately) in which he quotes a couple of favourite clues, which I suspect are from The Times, and even explains why they are good.
One is ‘Something wrong with Finnegan’s Wake? Perhaps too complicated (10)’ and to get to it he trots out the old chestnut about Joyce’s novel being a cryptic crossword clue that goes on for 600 pages. Given his aversion to and avoidance of cliché elsewhere in the book (and his books in general), it’s odd that this old warhorse of a criticism gets the stamp of approval.
[As Flann O’Brien noted, that apostrophe probably hounded Joyce to an early grave.]
November is a quiet month, mostly. The Crossword Club has just circulated a puzzle of mine, but mostly you’ll be subsisting on the Friday Independent puzzles. There’s an additional appearance in The Times next Friday (6 November), though. and there’s a little flurry of activity at the end of the month which I’ll come to in the next post.