About

About me

I live in Bayswater, Auckland, New Zealand. I am married with two teenage children, both at Takapuna Grammar (recently famous for having taught Lorde). We have one of each – a mathematician/musician and a dancer/artist.

About “Maya”

Maya (Sanskrit माया), literally means “illusion” and “magic”. However, the term has multiple meanings depending on the context (…) in later Vedic texts and modern literature dedicated to Indian traditions, Maya connotes a “magic show, an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem” (Wikipedia).

Comments on my crossword-writing

“. . .we enjoyed this one enormously. So many clever clues, including some diabolically sneaky ones, on the key clue word! What’s more, we went on to do some of the Telegraph ones we used to do, only to find them so very yawnsome compared with the toothsomeness and entertainingness of yours that we ended up throwing them away. You have ruined us for other compilers!”
The Androzani Team

“Congratulations. You have a convoluted, tricky and extraordinarily devious mind. I promise not to disclose this to another soul.”

Kevin Ireland

And finally, a scholarly comment about cryptic crosswords

To prove that it’s possible to take crosswords a little too seriously, I can’t resist passing on a short quote from “MISLEADING CONTEXTS: THE CONSTRUCTION OF AMBIGUITY IN THECRYPTIC CROSSWORD CLUE” by John Cleary (Edinburgh Working Papers in Applied Linguistics; n7 p14-29 196)

A third approach might investigate the way crosswords exploit the systemic features of language to encode, or merely suggest, or even to hide, meaning. Cryptic clues are exercises in constructed ambiguity, and Noreiko (1983) has used them to illustrate how a given lexical item (in this case in French, although it is equally applicable to English) can be

…multi-valued, polysemantic, or homonymous, even of unclear syntactic status, until it can be assigned to an appropriate context. (Noreiko 1983: 238)

(The quote-within-a-quote is from Noreiko. S. ‘Recreation and re-creation: French crossword clues as case studies in ambiguity’. Quitquerease 6/2i23A-8.)

So now you know! 🙂

482px-Socrates_and_Xanthippe

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