I received an email the other week asking (a) whether I was actively updating my blogroll, and, (b) if so, whether they could be on it. The answers were perhaps slightly contradictory: (a) no, not really (with a bit of a guilty start); (b) yes. And then I had another email asking the same thing.
So I had to rethink my attitude to my blogroll – not least, I need to find how to update it! It has been infrequently attended to and I confess to having forgotten which widget is which. So the actual updating may be a while away, but that doesn’t stop me introducing the two new entries here.
The first is Unscramblerer. It’s one of those useful sites where you can enter partial words and undertake a search to find solutions to fit the letters you currently have. The dictionary in use has over half a million entries, and includes proper nouns, so it’s pretty comprehensive. A further feature is that the ‘Crossword Solver’ isn’t the only element – there’s an anagram solver, and a few useful Scrabble utilities as well, so you don’t have to switch between sites if you have a variety of items to check. It’s the brainchild of Randoh Sallihall.
The second site contains puzzles by a new setter trying to make his mark. The pseudonym Hubble was always likely to go down well with an old astrophysicist like myself. There are four puzzles there to date, with the promise of more to come. From what Hubble told me in an email, it’s still quite a painstaking process to craft and create clues, and I can sympathise with that, thinking back to my own early days. It does get smoother, and certain facilities slot into place. But it’s useful to get something out there and to feel encouraged – the internet provides that in a way that wasn’t possible forty years ago. The site is Hubble Crosswords, and Hubble is William Kenny.
I’m assuming both William and Randoh will be happy for feedback – I tried things out on both sites, and made comments, and they didn’t hurl e-abuse at me!
I will try and maintain (and update) the blogroll on a more regular basis in future, though I am very aware that a long blogroll has the potential to be off-putting. At the very least, it will keep me more in touch with my own site.
Meanwhile, there’s new puzzle up on the site – an Inquisitor from 2014. That’s recent enough for there to be both a fifteensquared review and a setter’s blog – links to both from the solution page (solve the puzzle first…). I can use this announcement to note that there’s a new Inquisitor coming up at the end of the month (27 February). The other puzzle on the horizon is a Times Quick on 19 February.
I intend to collate the APEX entries on Monday 8 February, so any participants who still have not submitted a clue have a few hours yet to remedy the fact.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.