Friends’ Meeting House
Saturday 8 June 2013
09:30 to 16:00
We’ll have the use of a quiet, airy room in the charming Friends’ Meeting House in the historic centre of Brighton, where lunch will be provided by one of our characterful local cafes and there’ll be exquisite coffee, fruit and other goodies available all day.
Saturday 13 July 2013
09:30 to 16:00
The summer’s central London class takes place in an easily accessible room on UCL’s leafy main quadrangle off Gower Street. Lunch will be brought to us, and there’ll be the same exquisite coffee, fruit and other goodies all day.
Burnley in the Autumn?
I'm looking at the possibility of running a Masterclass in Burnley in September or October. If you think you might be interested, I’d very much like to hear from you.
I’ll set up more classes wherever there are aspiring setters who’d like to come to them. If that describes you, please drop me a line, then let your friends know and put them in touch with me too, so that I know where to look.
Be My Agent
If you believe that your part of the country is crying out for a Masterclass, or if you’re involved in organising a series of events such as a festival that could include a Masterclass as part of its programme, why not be my agent? There’s very little work involved, so do get in touch and we can talk about the details.
Names and aims
Use of software
Why do people do crosswords?
A brief history of wordplay
The first crosswords
The British conversion
Why Britain and not the US?
Present and future
Quality, fairness and difficulty
Ximenean “rules” and Libertarians
Annotation  clue-oriented
Wordplay types: characteristics,
usefulness, indicators and
Annotation  solution-oriented
&Lits and Semi&Lits
Exercises and clueing surgery
American, British and other types
Symmetry and fairness
Creating a grid from scratch:
patterns, blocks and traditional
Choosing and filling a library grid Maximising theme usage
Why set crosswords with themes?
Critical and incidental themes
Types of theme
Difficulty and satisfaction
How Boatman themes work
Density and breadth of theme
The creative process
Ten steps: start to publication
The making of a Boatman puzzle
What kind of person makes a
Developing a style
Is compiling an art or a craft?
What is creativity?
What does inspiration feel like?
Setting as a profession
How to choose a pseudonym
The mechanics of submitting
The role of the editor
A long-term plan
Learning to evaluate your work
The relationship between setter
Seeing a puzzle from the solver’s
point of view
Self-criticism and persistence
Will you be rich and famous?
Books, websites & blogs, Twitter
names, 1 Across and games
Constructive criticism and
Share an example of a completed
puzzle, a work in progress or
an idea for a theme
Suggestions for follow-up
© Copyright Ashley Knowles 2011-2013 | all rights reserved | colour design by Bernadina Lloyd www.bernadinalloyd.co.uk
What students said about the first Crossword Masterclass
Many thanks for a very enjoyable and inspiring day
Excellent day, loads of useful information
Great day ... such a complete course
Good to meet people who are trying to learn to play the same instrument and also get an insight into a maestro's approach
I'm really happy I signed up for this. I definitely feel motivated to keep going on my crossword setting quest
Value for money