Well, it’s been 100 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s debut, and since there’s no Bodies from the Library this year, where else are we gonna get a chance to discuss it? So, yes, in July there will be posted on here a spoiler-rich deconstruction of The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). If you haven’t read it, what more motivation do you need?
Oh, you do need more motivation? Well, how about the fact that I’m going to be joined in this by Moira of Clothes in Books and — since we couldn’t very well do it without him — Brad of AhSweetMysteryBlog? Now you’re interested, eh? So get reading, and we’ll see you in July for the nerding out.
But wait, there’s more!
With so many GAD bloggers doing their bit to provide distraction in these unsettling times — Puzzle Doctor has lived up to his name, Kate wrote a quiz, John has been foxing us with anagrams, Brad’s writing a novel — I thought it was about time I pulled my weight, and so I’ve written an Agatha Christie-themed crossword. I would have gotten it to you sooner, but I didn’t like the layouts proposed by the various online makers, so had to construct the grid myself. Here it is:
Pictured: 463 hours’ work
The words are taken from the titles of the 38 novels and short story collections that Dame Agatha wrote featuring M. Hercule Poirot, and the clues are moderately cryptic so as to distract you for hopefully a little bit longer. It’s not a full-scale cryptic crossword, because I’m not intelligent enough to write one of those, but it is mildly cryptic (I hope…) in the manner that I’ve learned from The Times and its quick cryptic crosswords which have provided me with much distraction and education in recent times.
As it is slightly cryptic, there’s an element of wordplay and trying to look at things in the way that I do in the clues, but I’ve also tried to vary them in difficulty (and have inevitably varied them in quality…), and please don’t get too offended if I’ve contravened any of the rules of crossword clewing: I’d say I’m a rank amateur at this, but I doubt I’m good enough to secure any sort of ranking just yet.
Taught me everything I think I know…
There are 38 clues, because each book appears once, and just to mix things up I’ve excluded one Poirot book and replaced it with a non-Poirot book. Can you identify which is missing and which has been substituted in its place? Click here to download it without the answers included, and here for a version with the answers included on a separate page — good luck!