After years of hardwork, a Highlands man has put together the largest Cryptic Crossword book in Australia.
Ten years of writing and research are behind Dick Honor’s Cryptic Crossworder’s Glossary.
“I started out teaching Cryptic classes to the Southern Highlands U3A, I wasn’t the best at it but I knew how to teach it,” Mr Honor said.
“I think by the end of the classes a lot of the people were better than me.”
The key to solving cryptic puzzles is the use of reasoning processes.
What the solver has to do is to discover what each clue really means, removing the veil of deception or diversion which the compiler has placed around it.
“People look at them and think they are tricky so I began teaching them how to decipher these clues,” Mr Honor said.
The book started as a hobby for Mr Honor.
“I started taking notes for myself and the idea just kept growing.”
Fast forward 10 years and Mr Honor has compiled nothing short of 684 pages of cryptic clues.
“It has been constructed in a completely random manner, making entries as they have come to me, not only from doing crosswords but also from listening to conversations, reading books, watching TV, listening to the radio and waking at night as they come to me out of nowhere,” he said.
“A pen and notepaper or the palm of my hand have always been ready to record them.”
Even though the 300,000 words have been printed, Mr Honor said the project is not complete.
“No work of this nature can ever be ‘complete’ because new usages come up every day, and this is no exception,” he said.
“But it is certainly now at a stage where it can be very useful.”
The final touches were a family affair for Mr Honor and his granddaughter Hayley and her husband Troy.
“I’m thankful to my granddaughter for her help in designing the cover and especially her husband Troy for doing the complex work needed to print the book and put it online.”
The book draws on experiences Mr Honor had as a teacher, a naval officer and an international publisher.
“It’s a very personal document, drawing on my 87 years of using the local lingo in different life experiences, from teaching, publishing, writing and living at the head of an extended Australian family.”
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.