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Crossword Who's Who - C

A Cruciverbal Compendium



J A Caesar, better known as Jac was the originator of the current series of themed cryptic crosswords in The Spectator. Between 1971 and 1981 he was the sole setter of the Spectator crossword and produced 520 puzzles.


Michael is at manifold times and in sundry places a property lawyer, Church of England priest, husband, parent of two teenage boys and a crossword setter and blogger.

As Kairos he sets crosswords for The Independent and he sets under his real name for the Church Times.

As Prolixic, he sets crosswords for the Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle and Monthly Prize Puzzle series of crosswords on Big Dave's Crossword Blog and blogs crosswords by other setters in those series.


A pseudonym of Michael Macdonald-Cooper for Listener crosswords.

Index of Calmac crosswords in The Listener

Index of Calmac crosswords in The Crossword Database


The pseudonym of Allan Scott for Toughie crosswords in The Daily Telegraph.


Joyce Cansfield, born in 1929 in Surrey, was a setter of crosswords for The Times for many years until she retired in 2012. She has also set crosswords for The Listener as Machiavelli.

Joyce Cansfield won the the UK National Scrabble Championship in 1980. In 1982 she was the Champion in the first-ever series of the TV game show Countdown.

Profile of Joyce Cansfield on the Countdown Wiki


Alan Cash, a former teacher of English, compiled crosswords for The Daily Telegraph from 1963 to 1988.

Alan Cash is one of the setters featured in Val Gilbert's book A Display of Lights (9): The Lives and Puzzles of the Telegraph's Six Greatest Cryptic Crossword Setters.


The pseudonym of Peter Chamberlain for Toughie crosswords in The Daily Telegraph


Eric Chalkley, better known by his pseudonym of Apex was a professional carpenter from Croydon. He was born on 26th December 1917 at Stevenage in Hertfordshire. In 1966 he happened to read Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword, discovered the puzzles of Ximenes in the Observer and admired them so much that he decided to "ape X". His first puzzle was published in The Listener in June 1969.

As well as his puzzles in The Listener, Eric Chalkley had crosswords published in Games and Puzzles, The Guardian and The Times.

Eric Chalkley was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honour list in 2002 - probably the first crossword compiler to receive such recognition. He died, aged 88, on 26 April 2006.

More information about Eric Chalkley, and several Apex crosswords, may be found on Derek Harrison's website

Guardian obituary of Eric Chalkley, 3 May 2006


Chalmie is the pseudonym used by Michael Holmans for cryptic crosswords in the Financial Times. His debut puzzle appeared in October 2014.


Peter Chamberlain, a former accountant, has been a crossword setter for The Daily Telegraph since 1986. He regularly sets the Saturday prize cryptic in that paper and he also sets Toughie crosswords as Cephas.


The pseudonym of Chris Poole for thematic crosswords in The Listener, Enigmatic Variations and Inquisitor series and puzzles for The Magpie and The Crossword Club.

The pseudonym is derived from "sea whirlpool" - a near-homonym of C L Poole.

Index of Charybdis crosswords in The Listener

Index of Charybdis crosswords in The Crossword Database


The pseudonym of John Dawson for crosswords in The Guardian.

Chifonie crosswords in the Guardian archive


The pseudonym of Michael Curl for crosswords in the Financial Times.


The pseudonym of the late John Graham for crosswords in the Financial Times.


The pseudonym of James Leonard for Toughie crosswords in The Daily Telegraph.


The pseudonym of Colin Eaglestone for crosswords in The Listener series.

Index of Colleague crosswords in The Listener

Index of Colleague crosswords in The Crossword Database


A pseudonym used by Colin Gumbrell for crosswords in The Spectator and elsewhere.

Index of Columba crosswords in The Listener

Index of Columba crosswords in The Crossword Database


Commoner is a setter of cryptic crosswords in The Independent.


Alan Connor is the author of a crossword blog on The Guardian website.

He has worked as a TV producer, presenter and gag-writer (on programmes including The Word, The Daily Politics and 10 O'Clock Live) and writes about music, food, politics and technology. He enjoys cribbage and asparagus.


Nuala Considine has provided crosswords for many publications, including The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Express, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, New Scientist, the Daily Sketch and, the Sunday Correspondent.

In The Daily Telegraph she sets Toughie crosswords as Excalibur.


A pseudonym of Chris Feetenby for Listener crosswords.

Index of Corylus crosswords in The Listener

Index of Corylus crosswords in The Crossword Database


Jim Coulson, born in High Wycombe in 1951, is a consultant timber technologist.

He sets thematic crosswords (as Jago) in The Listener series, Enigmatic Variations puzzles in the Sunday Telegraph and puzzles for The Crossword Club. His first Listener puzzle was published in 1975.

Jim is also the organiser of the annual Times Listener Crossword Setters' Dinner.


The pseudonym of John Barrett, former tennis player, TV commentator and author. He sets a tennis-themed cryptic crossword in the Financial Times each year at the start of the Wimbledon season.

Wikipedia page for John Barrett


Peter Covey-Crump sets crossword puzzles in in The Listener series as Aedites.

Jason Crampton


Jason Crampton sets crosswords using the pseudonym Serpent for The Independent, Inquisitor, Enigmatic Variations and The Magpie.

He has also set puzzles for the Genius series in The Guardian (as Jack) and 1 Across (as Skipjack).


Ruth Crisp (born 1 January 1918, died 22 January 2007) was one of the most prolific crossword compilers of her generation and one of the few compilers who worked for all five national broadsheets. Her crossword career began with a puzzle that she had published in Radio Times in 1954. In addition to compiling for The Guardian from 1954 to 2004 (as Crispa), The Daily Telegraph (from 1985 to 2004), The Times, The Independent (as Marcy) - she set the first puzzle for the newly-launched Independent on November 5 1986)- and the Financial Times (as Vixen), she also compiled for The Sunday Times, The Field, and the Birmingham Post.

Guardian obituary for Ruth Crisp

Daily Telegraph obituary for Ruth Crisp

The Times obituary for Ruth Crisp


The pseudonym of the late Ruth Crisp for crosswords in The Guardian.

Crispa crosswords in the Guardian archive

Crosaire Crosswords


The pseudonym of the late Derek Crozier (12 November 1917 - 3 April 2010) who set crosswords in The Irish Times for over sixty years.

Crosaire, punning on Crozier's surname (and pronounced cruss-ara, not cross-air!), is the Irish word for a crossing or crossroads.

A sample Crosaire crossword from The Irish Times, 10 January 1999.


Crosophile the pseudonym of Chris Poole for crosswords in The Independent.


David Crossland was born in Lancashire in 1948. His first published puzzle was in the London Evening News in 1971

In the years that followed, he had crosswords published in The Listener (as Smokey), The Independent Magazine, the Enigmatic Variations series in the Sunday Telegraph, and in The Spectator.

In 1998 he became a member of the team setting the Jumbo puzzles in The Times, and soon after that one of the team setting The Times daily puzzles. He also sets Times Quick Cryptic crosswords as Flamande.

In 2002 he also started having crosswords published in The Independent (as Dac).

A-Z of Crosswords


Jonathan Crowther is renowned as Azed in the Observer.

He was born in Liverpool in 1942 and grew up in Kirkby Lonsdale in the Lake District. After leaving university, he started submitting occasional puzzles to The Listener until taking over from Ximenes in The Observer in 1971. Azed No. 1 appeared appeared in The Observer in March 1972 and the series is still going strong today.

Jonathan Crowther is the author of A-Z of Crosswords, a masterly survey of the modern crossword scene.

Wikipedia entry for Jonathan Crowther


Derek Crozier (12 November 1917 - 3 April 2010), using the pseudonym Crosaire, was the sole setter of the Irish Times crossword from its inception in 1943 until his death in 2010 - and after, as he left the Irish Times with a stockpile of more than a year's crosswords yet to be used.

He retained an idiosyncratic approach to crossword setting, never being influenced by the standards that have developed in Britain since the days of Ximenes. In fact he claimed that he had never solved a crossword in his life. Nevertheless his crosswords have always been very popular.

Wikipedia entry for Derek Crozier


Crucible is the pseudoym of Duggie Anderson for crosswords in The Guardian.

Crucible crosswords in the Guardian archive


The pseudonym of Colin Garside for crosswords in the Financial Times.

Michael Curl

Michael CURL

Michael Curl is a setter of cryptic crosswords for The Guardian (as Orlando) and the Financial Times (as Cincinnus). He also sets cryptic crosswords for The Times - and Times Quick Cryptic crosswords as Grumpy.

A former library assistant, bus conductor and software designer, he was born in 1946 and lives in Yorkshire. He has had several books published, the first being The Anagram Dictionary (1982) and the latest being Yorkshire Crossword Book, Vol. 7 (2015).

Crossword Blog: Meet the Setter - Orlando


The pseudonym of Peter Willmot for crosswords in Araucaria's 1 Across magazine.


The pseudonym of Eddie James for crosswords in Private Eye.


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