Your setter/compiler deal with/pseudonym/alter ego Julius.

Why? My unique setter identify within the Indy was Knut — after a celebrated polar bear cub in Berlin Zoo. My pricey spouse has an ursine nickname for me, and the Julius thought got here from Bankhaus Julius Bär, the Swiss personal financial institution now a part of UBS.

Actual identify Rob Jacques.

The place are you? Freiburg, Black Forest, Germany (since 2007).

Years compiling Seven and a half years since my broadsheet debut within the Unbiased however mucked about for a few years earlier than that, name it 10 in whole.

And measured in variety of crosswords, together with the FT 480.

Full time or part-time with one other job? I’m retired.

Did your college point out crossword compiling in profession discussions? I spent 30 years on the sharp finish of buying and selling rooms at 4 of the world’s largest banks, determined to modify from numbers to letters in an effort to maintain my mind ticking over.

Interactive crosswords on the FT app

Subscribers can now resolve the FT’s Every day Cryptic, Polymath and FT Weekend crosswords on the iOS and Android apps

Who/what bought you into cryptic crosswords? My father used to take the Sunday Categorical within the Nineteen Sixties (when it was readable, nearly) and I grew to become fascinated by The Skeleton as a teen. Later, I bought into fixing a day by day cryptic on the practice to work, which was at all times packed. I couldn’t ever handle to fold the paper in a approach that I might learn it, so the crossword within the backside nook was the simplest bit to get at.

Stroll us by means of your compiling technique I stroll lots within the Black Forest (thanks Horst Jankowksi) and I usually get an thought when I’m out and about for a theme, or a specific clue. As an aide-memoire, I ship a cryptic WhatsApp message to my German spouse, which at all times bewilders her.

So that you assume you’re laborious I set a weekly cryptic for TES (previously the Instances Instructional Complement), which is pitched on the simpler finish and a month-to-month puzzle for the Telegraph Toughie collection, which isn’t. With my FT and Indy puzzles, I take into account my stuff to be within the center.

The clue you wished you’d written From October’s Unbiased on Sunday (Hoskins): “Souls basically wearing rags?” (7) continues to be recent within the thoughts, it’s a nice clue (reply beneath).

And the clue you’re glad you probably did “Nous avons choisi une maison en Normandie; first impressions?” (6) (reply beneath).

What’s the subject of dialog while you come throughout different compilers? I couldn’t single out something, specifically. I’ve met a number of different compilers at social occasions and there isn’t a mono crossword theme to the conversations.

Any recommendation for solvers? Learn the explanatory blogs on to get a fuller understanding of various strategies. The positioning can be invaluable for revealing hidden messages, themes, and many others.

And for wannabe compilers? After you’ve got completed and honed your puzzle, discover a trusted pal to test-solve it for you and both add it to mycrossword or ship it to Big Dave. You’ll get constructive suggestions. DON’T ignore it.

I went to a seminar hosted by Ashley Knowles (Boatman within the Guardian) again in 2013, which I discovered very useful, met some good folks. He’s nonetheless doing them. Beneficial.

Your favorite/least favorite different phrase sport I’m at the moment having fun with Phrazle, which is among the umpteen Wordle spin-offs and I nonetheless take pleasure in Wördl (the Austrian equal of Wordle). I can not say I’m a fan of the New York Instances puzzles. The fashion leaves me chilly, I’m afraid.

Solutions Paupers (u of souls in papers=rags); Acumen (easy acrostic, def=nous).


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