Evercircular: Crossword

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The following crosswords were constructed by Roland Thompson the larger following an earlier and much smaller crossword based on the grided paper found on alternative Hike Report pages.

They are in contrast to the more heated discussions on religion and may have been inserted to alter the tone of the correspondence.  It strongly recalls shared events and pleasures. 

The large crossword is not correctly numbered (see 21½ A) nor are all lines clued.  The questions are not cryptic except in the softest form (see 33D). 

The response to the first small grid (above) suggests that most of the correspondents did not regularly complete crosswords.  As a consequence each question in this crossword has been targeted at individual correspondents as indicated by the initials at the end of the clues.  Some require answers that are totally dependent on knowing the individual or the group history.  1A is seemingly an in-joke between at least two of the correspondents and refers to the 1939 camp at Brynbac.

It is very much of the era and some questions assume a joint knowledge of military terminology.  Many may have been assimilated by the wider population but ‘Short Army Code’ (63D) and ‘School equivalent of CB’ (44A) would appear to be of a more specialised category. (Probably Confined to Barracks but I cannot find an answer – 2 letters D_).  57D ‘7 days—‘ is probably another example.

The grid remains blank, any answers being held in the head or on individually copied grids.   Later correspondents do mention the grid, largely in connection to the composition rather than the questions.

The first crossword was 1913, the first in the UK 1922 in Pearson’s Magazine, and the first in The Times in 1930. 

  • F          Fred Feary
  • T          Tom Germany
  • P          Padre (Rev A W N Tribe)
  • K          Ken North
  • W         Walter Miller
  • Wm     ? William Wolfe                      a later addition
  • B          ? Bill Thurbon  (WTT)
  • M         Mervyn
  • J           John Covell

JWR Archivist Sept 2019