Something a little different this time around.
The death of Margaret Irvine (aka Nutmeg) was announced recently. She set a lot of puzzles for the Guardian, as well as a dozen for The Listener (the most recent in February this year), and other barred puzzles elsewhere. The plain puzzles in the newspaper were an enjoyable solve, while the barred puzzles always had well-worked out themes that led the solver through the process of discovery.
I never met her, but I did collaborate on a puzzle with her, through the agency of Don Manley at the Church Times; Don himself contributed one-third of the clues. So, although last time’s puzzle was also from the Church Times, I’ve put that Christmas puzzle up as the latest on the site. The Church Times has a fortnightly puzzle, with a special – usually a Jumbo – at Christmas (there’s a Jumbo coming this year; you may want to consider how I know that…). This one, on the other hand, was a double puzzle, more along the lines of the Guardian specials at Christmas, Easter and other public holidays.
As a result, it’s also the first double puzzle I’ve put up. Not easy aligning the grids, I found – I followed the same process for both blank and filled grids (honest!), yet the solution page is a bit skew-whiff. I may go back and experiment further.
Talking of Guardian puzzles on public holidays…there’s one coming up on 14 July from Pangakupu. The Independent puzzle that same day is another that could be described as ‘in memoriam’. There’ll be the usual Friday Independent on 21 July, after which I’ll be back.