EJ's Crossword Showcase
Details about ordering, commissioning, buying tailor made bespoke crosswords or word searches. Themed puzzles cryptic or straight clues; hard easy. moderate, difficult

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Over the last 20-odd years, we've created hundreds of puzzles for many diverse publications. Our work is of a high professional standard and publication deadlines are always met.
Submitted copy includes formatted clues and good quality grid images, requiring the minimum of work to get them onto the printed page, or onto a web site.

If you're interested, there's more detailed information below.

cryptic /straight /themed /online /bespoke l Word searches
Price information l Enquiries

We can supply (for the printed page or for online, interactive, publication) the following:

Regular cryptic (UK-style) - from easy to Guardian, Times, etc. level.
Cryptics are usually on 15x15 grids but grid sizes from 11x11 to 27x27 and beyond are possible.

Straight (definition-only clues)
11x11, 13x13 or larger grids, coffee-break style or General Knowledge

Most of our published puzzles are commissioned by magazines and their solutions/clues reflect each magazine's content. These crosswords are popular and enduring (What Investment has been running my crossword for over 25 years and several other of our magazine puzzles have been going for over a decade).

Clues can be cryptic or straight (a mixture of easy cryptic and straight has proved to be popular in most cases). We try to make the answers/clues reflect not only the publication's content but also its style and we bear in mind the likely sort of readership. If the puzzle is to be sponsored by an advertiser, it's usually possible to include some answers and clues specifically related to the sponsor's products/services.

Online JavaScript interactive puzzles
We can give you the info. you'd need to set up an online puzzle such as the one we create for
Chambers. The set-up costs are very low and we can generate each interactive puzzle file for you thereafter.

I'm always flattered when someone approaches me for a personalised puzzle e.g. for a friend's/loved one's special birthday. The sad fact is, however, such puzzles are usually very difficult and time-consuming to produce. With an inevitably small 'database' of personalised words to work with, it's virtually impossible to fit in all the words the client wants and still end up with a proper grid. If I charged according to time spent, it would cost a great deal and even with a big reduction, it's likely to set you back a minimum of 180. Sorry.

These have proved to be very popular with the readers of the magazines we supply them to. We believe our word searches are a cut above many other published examples (often all-computer-generated). We take much care and time in choosing and positioning the fill words and packing the grid with good entries.
A 13x13 grid makes a good-sized puzzle for a typical-sized magazine page - this would have about twenty hidden words/phrases, usually themed. See example
here (pdf). We can supply java interactive ones too for web sites.

Our charges vary, of course, depending on the amount of work involved (and, frankly, on the status of the publisher - a magazine with high circulation and/or healthy advertising revenue is usually prepared to pay very well for good quality work). Some factors bearing on price are:

Themed crosswords
The higher the % of themed words included in the grid, the greater the work involved. You can keep costs down by going for a figure of e.g. 60% or less - often the themed content can be upped by clueing non-theme grid entries in an appropriate way, especially if they're cryptic clues (which can be made very easy, if required).
The price for a one-off themed crossword will usually be higher than for a batch or a regular order, because of the initial setting up of the theme database, etc. New clients usually place an initial order covering 3 to 6 issues, which of course enables them to gauge reader reaction (favourable in every case, I must say!).
To give a general idea, fees we get for themed crosswords range from around 70 to 200+. Bulk orders for popular themes (e.g. food/drink; films/tv; sport) would attract a very good low rate.

Non-themed crosswords (including General Knowledge)
Prices for these are quite a bit less than for themed ones of course.
e.g. a 13x13 or 15x15 easy cryptic or straight clued puzzle would be priced at around 35-40, reducing with the size of the order (Guardian/Times-level cryptics, unsurprisingly, are more expensive).

Word Searches
The fees we get for these at present range from 60 to 90.


If you wish to enquire about a possible commission, then
email us, giving as much info as you can about your requirements (e.g. themed or not; cryptic or straight; one-off request or possible regular order).

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