Learn how to torment your friends with your crossword setting skills and take part in group activities, where you’ll create a puzzle that will be published on the Guardian website - with John Halpern (aka Paul), the Guardian’s most published setter
From finding words that you love, to filling the grid and writing clues, learn how to create cryptic crosswords at this unique Masterclass with John Halpern (aka Paul), the Guardian’s most published setter. Over three consecutive Saturday mornings, you’ll learn the skills of crossword setting, and put what you’ve learned into practice during fun practical activities.
During the course, you’ll create your own cryptic crossword, and also create a puzzle as a group which will be published on the Guardian website – perfect for boasting to your friends and/or torturing them with your cryptic clues. With opportunities for feedback and plenty of laughs along the way, it’s the ideal course for crossword fans and creative wordplay lovers who fancy a challenge.
Session 1 [June 3, 10am-12pm]
Background and history on cryptic crosswords in different newspapers
The process of creating a cryptic crossword puzzle from scratch
The rules – and when you can break them
Writing the clues, types 1-6 – anagrams, hiddens, double definitions, reversals, containers and sound-alikes
Session 2 [June 10, 10am-12pm]
Writing the clues, types 7-12 – deletions, cryptic definitions, charades, abbreviations, &Lit, miscellaneous
Practical activities with opportunities for feedback – create your own clues and work on a group project
Session 3 [June 17, 10am-12pm]
The editing process – polishing your puzzle and editing like an expert
Practical exercises and group work – finish creating a cryptic crossword as a team, which will be published on the Guardian website
Handouts to help you develop your crossword setting skills during and after the course
John Halpern (aka Paul) is the Guardian and the UK’s most published cryptic crossword setter. His crosswords also appear in the Financial Times, The Independent and The Times, among other publications. John lives in Brighton and is married to a woman whose name is an anagram of ‘entail’; they have a son whose name is hidden in the word ‘taramasalata’. He’s the author of The Centenary of the Crossword and tweets @crypticpaul.
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.
In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.