If you're a fan of puzzles, this is the place for you. Cryptic crosswords, regular non-insane crosswords, word searches, cryptograms, heck, even jigsaws ... they're all here.

I've been a puzzle writer for several decades now, and have been more serious about it since 2002, when my first puzzle book was published.

On this blog I talk about puzzles in the news (it happens — occasionally), reveal tips on how to solve them, dissect cryptics, and talk about anything puzzle-related I can get my hands on. I sometimes run competitions, and post cryptic clues and other puzzles for you to solve.

Another hat I wear, of several, is that of book indexer. Yeah, someone has to write those indexes at the back of books, and the best ones (usually) aren't written by the author, but by a professional indexer. So sometimes I lift the lid on the mysterious work of book indexing, and reveal some of the fascinating possibly slightly interesting things about this topic. And if you're an author whose book needs an index, you will find some useful info here too.

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25 things about me

  • I had a pet rat called Sarah when I was a kid.
  • Murder mysteries are the main fiction I read. 
  • I collect Simenon's Maigret novels.
  • I love dogs, and have two chihuahuas.
  • I hate the smell of lavender. Ugh. Stink weed.
  • I spent a lot of my first three decades living at Mt Stromlo Observatory.
  • I own quite a lot of nail polish.
  • I'm mum to two young adults, and one husband.
  • My husband is an astrophysicist.
  • We got married when we were 20 (!!!)
  • I used to play the violin and be in an orchestra.
  • I love cooking, and try new recipes every week.
  • I have hip dysplasia, and got an artificial hip when I was 46.
  • I'm not allowed to run or jump (see above). Woo!
  • I've lived in three places in the States: New Haven, Tucson, and Boulder.
  • I'm not a big fan of movies.
  • Pavlova is my favourite dessert.
  • I once wrote a whole Dummies book in 14 days. Never again!
  • My musical taste is very eclectic : from Vivaldi and Schubert to Glass and Zimmer to Nine Inch Nails, Muse and Parov Stelar.
  • I always have a knitting project or three on the go, and design my own knitting patterns.
  • My favourite drinks are tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
  • I don't mind public speaking, or even radio.
  • I am no good at word games with time limits, I can only think of 3 letter words like CAT and MAT. Seriously.
  • I've moved 27 times in my whole life. The longest I've lived in one house is 6 years and 4 months.
  • I have 4 mm ear piercings, I got them recently, so I can wear my son's glass jewellery.