The Stickler Weekly Turns 200

This week, crossword number 200, marks almost four years of The Stickler Weekly. I must admit I didn’t know how long it/I would last, but I think four years is a good effort. The hardest thing is to keep motivated, which gets increasingly more difficult as my other crossword work continues to dwindle. Counter-intuitively, the more work I had, the easier it was to focus on crosswords. You’d think more time would mean a more relaxed, keenly-crafted crossword, but it doesn’t. I have so much time I can’t sustain the concentration required do to a productive job. I used to be six weeks ahead with The Stickler in The Daily Telegraph, that’s 36 crosswords, now The Stickler Weekly is a just-in-time effort.
For me, probably more surprising than reaching the 200 Stickler Weekly milestone, is the uninterrupted production of a weekly spiel. Who’d have thought there were that many things to talk about in the crossword world? It’s hard coming up with something different each week so please submit any crossword topics you’d like me to talk about, or perhaps a past topic that you’d like me to expand on.
As with the production of The Stickler Weekly, other planned tasks are slow to complete. Indexing of past spiels hasn’t gone very far and a comprehensive links page isn’t past the initial stages. I’ll get there eventually…

Thanks for all the support, feedback and comments.

Best and thanks.

The Stickler

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12 Responses to The Stickler Weekly Turns 200

  1. Arthur Maynard says:

    Thank you for the 200 puzzles which you have produced on a regular basis – essentially as a labour of love. I remember my pain at losing your contributions of well crafted crosswords in the regular newspapers – sacrificed to the accountants (I was a bean counter and a banker in an earlier life).
    I also appreciate the help and advice you have provided me personally, and the interest you have shown in my relationship with local newspapers and crossword solving groups.
    Unfortunately heartfelt thank yous do not put bread on the table, so your efforts achieve very modest rewards.
    I have had the opportunity to re-solve some of your earlier puzzles – including puzzle No 1 from 1998. In that process, I have concluded that your setting has developed in complexity, and agility in the use of the English language. As a result, your solvers have developed in ability to analyse and solve puzzles. It is somewhat illuminating to look at the blogs from some of the earlier puzzles, and see who is still participating, and the change in the tenor of the comments.
    I have also recently restarted work on puzzles from the Guardian where the setters are regarded as top-notch. One thing I have noted is the parochialism of many of the setters. Many clues require an in-depth knowledge of all things English – history, literature, geography, and no assistance is provided for offshore participants. I believe your puzzles and the guidance you provide makes your offerings superior to what is available in the Guardian.
    So again thank you. I hope you feel able to continue as I relish the weekly challenge, and the opportunity to share within this website and blog.

  2. Richard Sternes says:

    Essentially & substantially – What Arthur said…..
    The Journey so far has been tremendously rewarding, interesting & stimulating.
    Thank You so much David, for taking me along.

    PS>>>>> You didn’t report back about The Funding Model
    so I take the opportunity to remind others of like mind to me
    – Contributions Always Welcome.

  3. Steve Ball says:

    What the other guys said, and thanks for the reminder, Richard.

    Steve = : ^ )

  4. Arthur Maynard says:

    I would like to add one more thought. David since I retired I have taken up mentoring at U3A. I reach 40 members each year for computing for 6 months and around 12 for crosswords for a full year. Seeing the development and sharing the light up moments makes it well worthwhile. My efforts reach considerably fewer people than you influence on a continuing basis. I am sure you know what you do is appreciated, but it behoves us to remember to say so.

  5. Noeline & Terry McKenna says:

    We, too, thank you,and we always look for your Omega crossword in the SMH on a monday.We love doing cryptic crosswords together and our general knowledge has certainly expanded as we often have 4\5 reference books in play.We wish you wellness , peace and happiness.

  6. Andrew Gibson says:

    I too would like to express my sincere gratitude for your efforts in producing such a high quality product – and all for free too. With this in mind I have just made a small deposit into your account and I trust that there are many others out there who will do likewise. Thank you once again.

  7. Frank Cotton says:

    I can only echo the comments already made. Along with your puzzle in the weekend AFR I look forward the weekly Stickler as an integral part of my cerebral exercise regime. Thank you again.

  8. Greg Mansell says:

    Speaking of the weekend AFR, I need to start buying it. Now that I’ve caught up, one Stickler a week isn’t enough.
    Congratulations on the double ton David. As entertaining as Dave Warner, and as elegant as Mark Waugh – even if my solving efforts are often Geoffrey-Boycott-like.

    • Richard Sternes says:

      Never really understood Cricket Greg, but have to agree
      David Warner’s sheer exuberance & Love of the Game is infectious.
      Always liked Mitchell Johnson too.
      How scary would he have been coming down the pitch at you.
      Always glad he was on our side…..

  9. Brian Kelleher says:

    Can’t imagine a week without The Stickler. I still do the Telegraph cryptic but it is little more than a fill in exercise generally. Every Wednesday there is a proper crossword to tackle. I really look forward to it so long may it continue – please!!

  10. Norman says:

    It gives me great pleasure to say that my wife and I have worked on and solved all your 200 puzzles and about the same of the AFR ones. We have enjoyed the experience greatly. Life would not be the same without both sets of puzzles.

    Many thanks David

  11. Greg Mansell says:

    The Stickler’s 200…Ellyse Perry’s 200…I was there for both.