David Tossman’s Crossword Webskite

In 2015, in a sustained burst of untoward enthusiasm, I put together and published  a book of collected crosswords from the


This book, How to Cook Little Fish (3), is available in most good bookshops nationwide.


The book features plain-language explanations for every one of its 2935 clues with the hope that they will help recruit new solvers and thus continue to sustain their setter.


For current puzzles I run the freely accessible cryptic crossword blog on the Listener website. The Listener website is not however a suitable site for the links and so on placed here.


Please use the Listener site to comment on current or recent Listener crosswords.




See verso.net.nz for answers to current Listener puzzle clues (revealed individually, no spoilers).


The complete solutions and explanations for all clues are published weekly online (simultaneously with the release of the print edition) on the Listener website.

An apology


Skitey pants?


From time to time I feel I should have adopted an alias for my Listener puzzles as is the custom amongst cryptic crossword setters in the UK. Advertising my real name, a relatively rare one at that, does feel a little immodest in the circumstances.


In fact I did intend adopting an alias when I first took on the job and, having procrastinated for a week or so about what it should be, contacted the Listener editor with my decision. This was well before my first puzzle appeared.


I wasn't to know it but back then the puzzle pages were printed weeks before the more topical parts of the magazine. I was thus surprised to learn that my first puzzle had already been printed. Too late. I was out!


An old friend (I mean old: he's 93) recently suggested a solution: I should change my real name by deed poll, keeping David Tossman on the crosswords as a nom-de-puzzle. I'm thinking about it.