Thursday, 20 August 2009

'The Araucaria Counterweight Book Saver'

(click on images to enlarge)

Sometimes the correspondence we receive from our readers is just too good to keep to ourselves. This week we received the following email (repeated with the writer's permission) from a dedicated fan of the crossword setter the Reverend John Graham, better known as Araucaria. Four collections of his puzzles are published by Chambers: Chambers Book of Araucaria Crosswords Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4.

Dear Araucaria,

I am a 75 year old crazy crossword enthusiast and inveterate puzzle solver while bathing. I recently had a terrible accident while trying to solve one of your puzzles while in the bath. I fell asleep and dropped the book in the water, thus ruining it forever. I had done this before, but not with an Araucaria book and was mortified. I then devised a counterweight system to prevent damage to books whilst reading in the bath and have named it 'The Araucaria Counterweight Book Saver'. I hope I have your approval. I have sent you some photos with this message showing how it works.

Araucaria crosswords are not readily available in South Africa and when visiting the UK I regularly stock up, so losing one is traumatic. I wish you many more years of compiling and hope to have many more years left of solving!

Respectfully yours in admiration,

Ivan Greenberg
Cape Town
South Africa

Those who have exhausted every last grid from these four books need not drown themselves in their baths in despair. A subscription to 1 Across magazine can drip-feed an Araucaria fix on a monthly basis. Email 1 Across for further details.

Anne Robertson

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