When I got up this morning, this story about the Guardian’s Araucaria revealing his diagnosis of terminal cancer through one of his cryptic crosswords was all over my Twitter feed. It brought back many happy memories of my grandad, who always enjoyed cryptic crosswords. I used to keep them from the Sunday Times and, occasionally latterly, the Observer, and take them to him. If he managed to complete it within the week, he’d give it back to me to post away and enter the weekly competition, to try and win a pen. We never won!
Sadly, I don’t have my grandad’s intelligence, nor his ability to think through the wordplay of cryptic crosswords, and so haven’t managed to follow in his footsteps in that regard. But when I read the story this morning, I thought that my grandad would have approved of Araucaria’s ingenuity… and I’d certainly have clipped the article and taken it to him!