I’m delighted to tell you that the first book of ST cryptic crosswords since 2006 was published on Thursday - cover price £6.99.
Not long after starting at the Sunday Times, I asked Harper Collins about the possibility of restarting the cryptic crossword books (or others), but the answer then was no thanks. And to be fair, with at least one book of both Times cryptic and jumbo crosswords each year, they had plenty. There was some change of heart a few years ago, with a request for a book of our concise crosswords. After three of those and two of the general knowledge ones, the one I wanted most is here at last. It has 100 puzzles, mainly from 2011 and 2012, but with 5 five puzzles each for the setters who started after 2012, so that the last part of the book represents the current team.
The biggest challenge was my attempt at the “beginner’s guide to cryptic crosswords” content which appears in the similar Times books. I wangled some extra pages for my version of this, but still struggled to squeeze in everything I wanted to say.
One note for those who produce the puzzle indexes for books here: you don’t need to bother — the introductory content recommends looking at the blog reports as help for beginners, and includes a puzzle index showing the original number and publication date for each puzzle.