Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Listener no. 4361: Two for the Price of One by Monk

‘The first thing that you need when setting a thematic puzzle is a good idea; you have that…,’ is what the dearly-missed Radix wrote when reviewing my first puzzle. (Mind you it was followed by ‘…after that it is all downhill I am afraid’!) Here we had a superb idea for a puzzle which I had never come across before and had to get someone to explain. But once I knew the rules I found the endgame just the right level to be fun.

Coincidentally I was admiring the clues of a Monk FT puzzle on Fifteensquared days before this was published so quite chuffed to see this. He is such an inventive cluesmith.

I thoroughly enjoyed both elements of the puzzle, but I was left wondering whether such a good idea from such a good setter could have reached another level if the first part had been more thematic. I know that I am being harsh, but great ideas don’t come around that often; at least not for me.


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