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November 5th, 2017 - RTC3
Random Thoughts on Crosswords Cryptic and Concise + Recherché Times Crossword Clues Considered
Here are the results of the final of the 2017 Times Crossword Championship. The figures in parentheses are competitors' scores out of 90, where 1 point was awarded for each of the 90 clues solved correctly.

1 Mark Goodliffe (90)
2 John McCabe (90)
3 David Howell (90)
4 Toby Brereton (90)
5 Simon Chillingworth (90)
6 Mike Davis (90)
7 Richard Grafen (90)
8 Shane Shabankareh (90)
9 Roger Crabtree (90)
10 Colin Thomas (89)
11 Alan Dorn (89)
12 Peter King (89)
13 Philip A Smith (89)
14 Helen Ougham (89)
15 Keith Long (89)
16 Jim Roberts (89)
17 Chris Price (89)
18 Guy Haslam (89)
19 Gerard McHugh (88)
20 Paul Facey-Hunter (88)
21 Nick Petty (88)
22 Alexis Johansen (87)
23 Jonathan Carter (87)
24 Sue Prout (86)

Congratulations once again to Mark Goodliffe, who claimed his 11th championship win, thus overtaking John Sykes. Congratulations also: to John McCabe, Toby Brereton, Mike Davis, Richard Grafen and Shane Shabankareh for their highest finishing places to date; and to Colin Thomas, Philip A Smith and Alexis Johansen who all reached the final for the first time. (Apologies to anyone I've missed.)

Commiserations to Neil Talbott, who would have scraped into the final had not Mark Goodliffe decided to switch from the first to the second preliminary round, thereby consigning Neil to the unlucky 13th place (and letting in Shane Shabankareh, who would otherwise have been 13th in the first preliminary).

Sadly I was off the pace in my preliminary (the second), though I did at least manage to solve all the puzzles correctly and finished high enough not to have to qualify next year. Having just solved the puzzles from the first preliminary, I'm not entirely sure that I'd have been as successful there. There was one very easy puzzle, one that wasn't too bad, and one that contained a heffalump trap which caught Michael Wareham, the 1986 champion, among others. I fell into it, and took an alarmingly long time to scramble out.

The final puzzles seemed easier than last year's, but tiredness was getting to me by the end (I'd had an exhausting week) and I made an incredibly stupid mistake. Nevertheless it was good to see old friends whom I've competed against over the years, and I'm hoping to still be around in three years' time for the 50th anniversary of the first championship.

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed

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