How long should a crossword take?

How long should we take to complete a crossword? It has been suggested that in order to feel a sense of achievement, they must be done quickly.

Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse, told the Today programme: "Now I'm getting towards my mid eighties, I keep thinking and telling everybody that crosswords are getting very much more difficult, because I can't do them half as quickly."

John Henderson, crossword setter for newspapers including The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Independent once won The Annual Times Crosswording in 1996, completing a single puzzle in just under three minutes.

He said: "I grew up with word lists so quite often I'll know a word that exists without necessarily knowing what it means. So it's word shapes that I recognise."

First broadcast on the Today programme on Wednesday 10 April.

BBC News