David Tossman’s Crossword Webskite

I have been perpetrating cryptic crosswords for the NZ Listener since 1997.


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


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


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


For current puzzles see the freely accessible cryptic crossword answers and explanations  on the Noted website.



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


The complete solutions and explana-tions for all clues are published weekly online (simultaneously with the release of the print edition) on the Listener's distractions pages of the Noted 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 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 95) 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.