The man behind The Irish Times Crosaire crossword describes how he came to be the creator of the cryptic word puzzles loved by so many.

Derek Crozier has been compiling crossword puzzles for The Irish Times newspaper six days a week for the last fifty years.  Fans describe his crosswords as great fun, a brain tease, a challenge, or just plain infuriating, but he doesn’t mind the latter at all, 

I hope it’s bloody infuriating.  That’s one of the reasons I do it.

His talent for creating crosswords began when he received a present of a book of crosswords from one of his goddaughters.  Unable to solve any of the puzzles in it, and amazed that his wife Marjorie could solve them all, he created a crossword for her to solve.  And thus began the creation of something that many Irish Times readers cannot live without.

His time in the Guinness brewery is memorable for all the wrong reasons.  He held a position in the Vat House, but an unfortunate incident hastened his exit from there, 

Maybe I was thinking of a crossword clue or something, but in a moment of aberration...before you know where we are, there were about forty barrels of stout sloshing around...they didn’t actually give me the old heave ho, but it didn’t help matters...

Guinness’ loss was the crossword-lovers’ gain.  Derek decided to join his brother in law in Zimbabwe and he worked first as a tobacco farmer, and later as a teacher of English.  It was during this time that he created thousands of crosswords.

Derek Crozier died on 3 April 2010. 

This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 12 March 1993.  The presenter is Gay Byrne