Listener Crossword: History

2. Grids and Clue formats

It has already been mentioned that unusual grids appeared from very early in the series. It took approximately 15 years before some of the more standard non-orthogonal grids appeared. No. 855 (1946) introduced the use of an hexagonal (“honeycomb”) grid. No. 1015 (1949) was the first with a circular grid. Both of these proved immediately popular with setters and have remained so ever since.

Afrit had introduced Printer’s Devilry (No. 377) and Playfair (No. 397), both in 1937. Another clue format that has remained popular is the Misprint. No. 855 used misprinted grid entries, but the real start of this gimmick was No. 1033 (1950) by Stephanus, where each entry was misprinted as was each clue.

Back to History main page
  1. The first puzzles
  2. Grids and Clue formats
  3. Later developments
  4. Setters
  5. Editors
  6. Prizes
  7. Statistics
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellany
  10. Further information