Ben's Cryptic Crosswords

A fresh cryptic crossword puzzle published here every Wednesday!

This week's puzzle: August 21 - Dismal Effort

Happy centenary!

My puzzles are cryptics in the English style, somewhere between Fairfax (Age / Sydney Morning Herald) and Guardian in difficulty. Hopefully about right for those of you who (like me) favour the Friday Fairfax or Monday Guardian. Hence my intention to publish puzzles on Wednesdays.

My style is more conventional than it used to be (I may republish some of my more outrageous older puzzles one day) but there may still be the odd deviation from the rules - so if you're a real stickler for convention then prepare to be offended!

I am writing in Australia, and some references will be local. I prefer British to US spellings, and usually put some qualification in the clue if the answer is the US spelling. For instance, "COLORS" might be clued as "American shades...".

One unusual touch of mine - I like to give the puzzles individual names. Largely because my numbering schemes are all over the place!

All puzzles on this page are my original work. If you would like to contact me, feedback is always welcome. My email address is: (click to reveal)

I also wrote the crossword interface myself. It's all in javascript, and is available as a forkable project here on gitHub.

If you enjoy my puzzles, the greatest way to show your appreciation (other than to give me a job, if you happen to be a newspaper proprietor) is to pass on a link to anyone else you know who might also enjoy them. Just right-click on the link above to one of the puzzles, select "Copy link address" and then you can paste it into an email or a post on social media.

Check out the rest of my web site.