When my father, a keen cryptic crossword solver, decided to spark my interest in puzzles, his intention was to help improve my vocabulary, spelling and lateral thinking, all of which he imagined could do with a good shake-up. What he actually did was begin a daily contest between us about who could get to the newspaper first that ended only many years later when I left the family home for college and had to buy my own copy.
It is more than 25 years since I began working for Puzzler – or, more precisely, the company that preceded it – and during that time I have filled many roles, from editorial assistant to management, and I have edited many of its titles, some that still exist, some that have fallen by the wayside.
I first encountered Logic Problems on one of my trips home from university when, having missed my westward connection at Reading station, found myself with an hour or so to kill. I bought Logic Problems issue 8 from the bookstall and settled down in the cafe to while away the time. That began my on, off, on, off connection with the title that has resulted in three stints as editor and the responsibility for the compilation of a third of its content.
These days, in addition to Logic Problems, I compile puzzles for mainstream magazines and newspapers as well as for some of Puzzler's other titles.
When I'm not working, I enjoy most sports – these days, watching much more than participating, but I like to keep fit, play the odd game of squash (particularly odd, according to my son) and a few years ago took up snowboarding. I like to read, tinker with my car (and anyone else's if they're daft enough to think I know what I'm doing) and bash out a few songs on the guitar.