Self-confessed word nerd, David Astle has been making crosswords since he was a teenager. In addition to setting crosswords for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, he also hosts Evenings on ABC Radio Melbourne, and is the author of Puzzled, Cluetopia and, most recently, Rewording The Brain.
Pester power. I started making crosswords as a teen for mates, full of puns and private jokes. It was cool, back then. (Narrator: It was never cool.) Then I started sending cleaner stuff to the Sydney Morning Herald, until a legendary compiler named LB – Lindsey Browne – took pity on the punk, giving me advice, and eventually an opening. A few puzzles a year. A probationary apprenticeship that’s turned into a lifelong hustle.