Sue Purcell

I started working for Puzzler in 2001. In the early days I edited a magazine and compiled puzzles, but now I have a broader role. My responsibility is overseeing the words that go into puzzles, especially as regards spelling. Many words can legitimately be spelt in different ways in English (like jail/gaol, caftan/kaftan, organise/organize and, indeed, spelt/spelled) so I have helped develop a consistent house style.

I come from a family of puzzle fans. As a child I can remember my mother and father each buying a newspaper so that they both had a crossword to do. As I got older my Mum and I would sit up till two o'clock in the morning playing Scrabble. I like cryptic crosswords, although not very difficult ones. I find they are great conversation starters on trains.

Before working for Puzzler I was a teacher for 15 years. I taught English and modern languages, both here and in North Africa. When not at work I devour biographies of Samuel Johnson; I'm a member of the Johnson Society of London and attend as many of their monthly meetings as I can. I also enjoy reading Russian literature.