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Paper Monitor

12:57 UK time, Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There's a bit in Dr Strangelove where Mandrake, the RAF group captain on secondment to a US airbase, realises World War III can't be happening because there's still pop music on the radio.

The Times does the same thing for newspaper readers. If there's still a cryptic crossword it means nuclear missiles aren't currently headed for your suburb. (Naturally, Paper Monitor was well mannered enough not to voice such an opinion when it worked in close proximity to the author of this notable crossword blog.)

Today they have a story marking 40 years on the wonderfully named Wadham Sutton setting the puzzles.

Paper Monitor has never quite got the appeal of the actual clues themselves. If I need to do an anagram, why not just tell me in clear English that I need to do an anagram.

If a cruciverbal enthusiast wants to ask somebody on a date what should they say? Part of mythical creature found in eatery (10)? Hammer-wielder's time of the week (8)?

OK, maybe the real clues are a little less rubbish than that, but for the non-aficionado it's a world as closed as a Klingon language-only Star Trek social night.

Anyway, Sutton's knocked out 1,414 crosswords. And they're good apparently.

Although Paper Monitor glances at the first clue of today's Sutton puzzle and it's easy.

14 down: Great Tew, a curious target for 1972 break-in (9)

Even a dunderhead like us can see that's got to be "Watergate", an anagram of "Great Tew, a".

That's not much harder than the Daily Star.

Today, their opening cryptic clue is:

For vehicle, favourite floor covering (6)

And for the avoidance of doubt the quick clues are adjacent. It says:

Floor covering (6).

Ahem.

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