Crossword Home Page The setter, Professor Kelmanson Monk = M;on  K, i.e. my initials

Monk-ey Puzzles

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Since 1992, under the pseudonym of Monk (my initials, "M on K"), I have set both blocked ("back-page"), and barred (advanced/thematic), cryptic crosswords for The Times, The Financial Times (also as one half of Ateles), The Times Jumbo, The Independent , The Telegraph Toughie (as Sparks), The Listener (now in the Weekend section of Saturday's Times), Guardian Genius, The Independent Saturday Magazine, The Sunday Telegraph ("EV" series), Private Eye (Web edition), Crossword (magazine of the Crossword Club), The Royal Society Newsletter, The Reporter (Leeds University staff magazine), The Review (Leeds University alumni magazine) and The International Maths Challenge Newsletter.

New! Pull-down puzzles put into "most-recent-first" format.


Independent (photo of setters) puzzles appear with kind permission of the Independent.



Times (photo of setters) puzzles appear with special permission, from News International, to use two formerly anonymous puzzles.



Financial Times puzzles appear with kind permission of the FT crossword editor.

Interesting Links (which link to many more)
  • Crossword Man: the excellent site of Ross Beresford, author and developer of the phenomenal Tea and Sympathy software packages for crossword construction. Highly recommended.
  • Crossword Puzzles: a large number of links to diverse "cruciverbal" sites, including many daily cryptics on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • The Crossword Centre: the site of Derek Harrison, devoted to puzzles, links, history, books and software. Contains a message board dedicated primarily to the topsy-turvy world of current advanced cryptics, although entertaining threads frequently surface on more generally accessible material.
  • Anagram Genius 2000: an amazing package for multi-word anagrams in context: e.g., Apple Macintosh laptop machines and Microsoft Windows XP Worm downs PC, so fix it ! Click on the Archive link to find hundreds of incredible anagrams, categorised into Sport, TV, Politics etc.
  • The Anagrammy Awards: the most incredible anagram site you're likely to find anywhere on the net. If you want subtlety, hilarity or crudity, it's all here. Simply click on "The Archives" link to reveal all.
  • Times Crossword Club: a single site containing not only the creme de la creme of cryptic 15 x 15 and 23 x 23 crosswords, but also excellent 13 x 13 and 23 x 23 non-cryptics, specialist puzzles on sport, literature, music and law, the Listener puzzle, the 12 x 12 (barred) Mephisto puzzle and much more. Membership fee is 4.99 per month or 24.99 per annum.
  • Crossword Compiler: the excellent site of Antony Lewis, author and developer of the superb Crossword Compiler software package for crossword construction. All of the HTML code for the downloadable Independent and Financial Times puzzles in the left-hand column of this page was created using this package. Highly recommended.
  • Times for the Times: fascinating blog of a team of solvers (originated by Peter Biddlecombe, crossword solver extraordinaire) giving daily times and good solving tips for the Times puzzle. Don't be too depressed if you can't match these times, some of which are remarkably quick. Comments also on selected Jumbo, Sunday Times and Mephisto puzzles too. Highly recommended if you want online expert tips about how to solve current cryptic puzzles.
  • Fifteensquared: Well-organised blog, primarily for Independent, Guardian and Financial Times solvers, although the list of other organs considered continues to grow. Clues are dissected in a lot of detail, which is extremely helpful in bringing on newer solvers. A particularly useful aspect is that the team of reviewers includes solvers spanning a range of experience, from relative newcomers to championship winners. As a result, the quoted solving times are not always intimidating!
  • Big Dave's Telegraph crossword blog: Well-organised blog for Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph puzzles, which fills in the gap for the most popular broadsheets. Very well laid out, with puzzles being given a 1-to-5-star rating on both enjoyment and difficulty fronts. Nice original anti-spoiler feature of answers being printed in the page's background colour, being revealed only actively when the reader drags the cursor across the apparently blank solution slot.
  • Best for Puzzles: Very-well-organised site of Michael Curl (a.k.a. Orlando and Cincinnus). Main features include extensive help facilities for solvers, daily puzzles and a repository of past puzzles; all easily and logically accessible by a very professional web interface. Highly recommended.
  • Azed Slip Archive John Tozer's well-organised online repository of Jonathan Crowther's comments on 35 years of winning Azed competition clues. A good resource for helping aspiring setters of advanced cryptics to understand the correct orchestration of clues.

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Page created by Professor M A Kelmanson on 5th August 2002; last updated 21st March 2014.