Hey folks, it’s been a while since my last Puzzler’s Wednesday post, but I hope this one makes up for it! Today we welcome British cryptic constructor Steve Townsend, who talks about his love of puzzles, drumming and introduces us to his cats, Geoffrey and Cassie.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself, Steve?
I have been around for a long time – I am married with two children and five grandchildren and live in Welwyn Garden City, in Hertfordshire – I am a drummer (been doing that since age 12) playing at the minute for a local band – I no longer need the day job – in fact I am being paid not to go to work indefinitely…..
- When did you start solving and making puzzles?
Many, many, many years ago, when I was at work, several of my colleagues would try and do the Daily Telegraph cryptic during their breaks – I joined in and soon found that I could quite easily solve the clues which they were having trouble with – then I thought “I should be able to put one of those together” so I had a go – it worked – and I started producing puzzles and distributing them to colleagues. Fast-forward a decade or so and we found ourselves living in Cornwall – I approached the editor of the local magazine and asked if they would like a monthly cryptic – and the rest is history – although we no longer live in Cornwall I still send them their monthly puzzle – they, in return, send me a free copy of the magazine.
- Do you just concentrate on cryptics or do you solve/create other kinds of puzzles too?
I mainly concentrate on cryptics although, if I see a puzzle that looks interesting I’ll have a bash at it – I like quizzes and used to play a lot of chess but unfortunately that’s too time-consuming now.
- A cryptic clue that always stayed with you?
One of mine: Shaggy dog story about idiot (6)
- Favorite constructor?
My regular mental workouts are with the cryptics in The Guardian – they use several compilers, all with their own styles, but I don’t really have a favourite.
- What do you like to do when you’re not doing puzzles?
Apart from music and family, I play a fair amount of squash (with rather more enthusiasm than skill) – I read a lot – I love driving – the thrill that I got many many years ago when I passed my test has never really gone away – I’m just very interested in, and curious about, everything – the three greatest things that have changed my life (apart from wife and family, of course) are drumming (I found something that I enjoy and am good at), driving (opening up the world), and computers and the internet (opening up the universe).
- If you could have dinner with one famous person who would choose?
- If you had a superpower what would it be?
I should say the power to eradicate all hatred and suffering from the world, but, rather selfishly, I would love to be able to fly…..
- What’s your personal motto?
- Would you like to share a puzzle with us here at Paws4Puzzles?
I’ll do better than that. Here’s a link to
where you can find my latest puzzles.
- Do you have anything else you would like to share?
We are cat people – for all our 39 years of marriage we have always had cats – except for one awful period in 2007 – we had two cats die within 6 months of each other and were catless at August Bank Holiday – but by November we decided we couldn’t face Christmas without a cat so we contacted the local branch of Cats Protection and picked up two lovely girls – one of those has since died (we always knew she was a bit vulnerable) but we were adopted by a stray big old tom so we now have the two – Geoffrey and Cassie.
And if you want to get an idea of me as a drummer, just think Animal from the Muppets……