Over the last few months I seem to have recorded anniversaries with worryingly large numbers: fortieth, thirtieth, twenty-fifth. It’s a relief to have one that is only the tenth.
On 27 September 2012 I posted an ‘Opening Announcement‘ followed by a ‘Formal Opening‘ on 5 October. That looks like two bites at the cherry, in retrospect, though the announcement was several lines longer than the actual opening. All those two announcements did was note that the series of APEX puzzles I had composed to that date were up and available. More was promised, subject to the six cats that might get in the way.
I’ve managed to put something up more-or-less fortnightly ever since (and we now have ten cats – but that’s another page update I have yet to do), expanding out to include republishing puzzles where outlets agreed (and thanks to all of them yet again). I did attempt some early pages on the techniques of setting and solving; somewhere I still have the schedule for the updates to those, though it’s turned a bit yellow now. There have also been book reviews, and I have an extended series of setter’s blogs. I don’t think I’ve missed putting up a blog about a thematic puzzle other than the APEX series in that time.
The puzzle this time may break that run, as I haven’t decided on the protocol of ‘setter-blogging’ a puzzle that has only appeared on this site (and there’s another one of those coming along at Christmas). For Cipher, Read Love is a puzzle created specifically for this post commemorating the site’s birthday. It’s an idea I’ve had floating around for a while, generally as part of a bigger concept. But that concept never quite gelled, so here’s the offshoot that does, I think, work. There is a Playfair cipher (applied to unclued entries, no less) – but even the code-averse should find it solvable.
Another feature over the decade has been the announcement of forthcoming puzzles, and this time I have to note that I’m not appearing next Friday in The Independent – it’s Monday 3 October instead. There’s a Times puzzle on Wednesday 5 October, and normal service is resumed with an Independent puzzle on 14 October.
But now the big numbers return: having just sent off my100th puzzle for a particular series, I have to turn to the 101st.