Listen With Others

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Listener No 4558, A Moral Story: A Setter’s Blog by Aedites

Posted by Listen With Others on 30 Jun 2019

As I am the Literary Executor for Canon Charles Kingsley (I am one of his closest living relatives), I thought that it would be appropriate to construct a crossword to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. I first constructed a suitable crossword in 2009 based on a rhyme by Bishop William Stubbs recorded in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which I rather liked. However I did not want to wait ten years for its publication, so I submitted it to the Listener Crossword and it was published as number 4220 “Falsehoods” in December 2012. “A Moral Story” was constructed in April 2011.

The full title of The Water-Babies is 36 letters long, and could therefore be encoded in 36 clues, and the perimeter of 44 cells would accommodate all the principal characters. I constructed the 2011 grid by hand but was unable to include KINGSLEY. After I started to use Qxw for grid construction in early 2016, I was able to adapt the grid to have 90° symmetry and to include KINGSLEY on the main diagonal. This did involve rewriting about half the clues.


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