Gazette’s cryptic crossword maker Alan Lee dies

Many years ago, I witnessed family members of a friend of mine doing the cryptic crossword in The Gazette. I don’t remember how it worked. I don’t think I understood how it worked (and I still don’t). I just remember that for these puzzle addicts it was one of the things they did.

Alan Lee has been doing The Gazette’s weekly cryptic crossword since 1994. But his name soon won’t be gracing the weekly puzzles page anymore. Lee died suddenly on Friday at the age of 81.

Reporter Catherine Solyom has an obituary for Lee in Saturday’s paper, a brief glimpse into the life of the man behind the black and white squares and list of clues. He’ll be remembered at a special gathering at McKibbin’s Irish Pub on Friday.

But what of the puzzle, which last Saturday published No. 938? There are some still in the bank, which will take us to April. But after that, it’s still not clear. Maybe his daughter will take it up. Maybe someone else. Or maybe they’ll replace it with another puzzle. Either way, there’s going to be a change.

5 thoughts on “Gazette’s cryptic crossword maker Alan Lee dies

  1. PiperPaul

    This saddens me to a deep level. I can’t say that I knew him well, but I proof-read his book.
    I insisted that he appear at my brother’s wedding. He showed up at the reception in full cycle gear just to say hi.

  2. Chris

    I can imagine him now turning up in full cycling gear.

    I use to sit with him when I was younger whilst he made the crosswords and he showed me how he made them , he was a genius and a lovely man. He was my grandad and will be sadly missed x

  3. Aileen McMillan

    I am very saddened to hear of Mr Lee’s passing. I’ve been sweating over his puzzles since 1994, and was just beginning to feel that I was understanding his thinking. My heartfelt condolences to his family and to all of those who had the good fortune to know him personally. He will be missed.

  4. Gilbert Laporte

    I am glad you are still publishing Alan Lee’s crossword puzzles. They are challenging but I manage to solve them. Please rerun them again after you have gone through the full set.


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