A&B Computing1st October 1987
Published in A&B Computing 4.10
This package is the first result of seven years work by David Akenhead and his father Edmund, Times Crossword Editor from 1965-1983. It contains sixty crosswords that originally appeared in The Times in 1983 and is the start of a series that has The Times Computer Crosswords 2 and The Sun Computer Crosswords 1 & 2 due shortly.
This is obviously only going to appeal to addicts and, moreover, addicts who like a challenge. The graphics are clear and, after being asked to input a clue number, you are presented with the cryptic clue. A nice touch is then included - you can ask for extra clues or help if you can't answer immediately. Different scores are given depending on how much help you require.
The first help level merely points out what sort of clue it is - anagram, double meaning, literary reference, etc. Surprisingly, perhaps, at this level the crosswords are not as hard as you might imagine but, if stuck, the computer will give the answer if required.
I do like this package - a lot of thought has gone into it and, with subsequent releases, there is at last a product of real value for crossword addicts who wish to play on their computer. The price for sixty crosswords seems far but I do wonder how often you'll return to a completed puzzle. I imagine this is mail order only as well.
What would be ideal, of course, is a crossword designer, by the same authors. Perhaps one day?