Ref NoOHP/26
TitleRev. John Graham
Date5 December 2001
Extent1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 2 AIFF files (464.1 MB)
Creator NameGraham; John Galbraith (1921-2013); clergyman and crossword compiler
DescriptionInterview with John Graham who compiled crosswords for the Guardian under the pseudonym Araucaria. Conducted by Hugh Stephenson on 5 December 2001. Also includes a data sheet containing biographical details about the subject and information about the recording and an additional post-it note about the interview.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1
00.30 Discussion of how to pronounce Araucaria
01.36 Won competition in the Observer for crossword compilement
02.00 Received letter from the Guardian between 1955-62 asking if he wanted to produce crosswords
02.35 Asked not to include references to the bible or disease
03.48 Considered pay as pocket money as was already working as a clergyman
04.40 Discusses choice of pseudonym
05.42 Following his divorce he left the ministry
05.53 Asked John Perkin for more work as he now needed the income
06.05 Asked to produce 'quickies' as the previous contributor had died
06.30 Began crosswords for the Finacial Times and Oracle, the ITV teletext service
07.10 Discusses first impressions of the Guardian
08.10 John Perkin visited crossword compilers
08.35 80th birthday party held at the Guardian London offices

Track 2
00.10 Discusses meeting other crossword compilers
00.50 Introduced new compilers including John Henderson to the Guardian
02.10 Introduced John Halpern to the Guardian
02.48 Discussion of young age of crossword compilers
03.06 Public writing to Graham for advice
03.50 Began compiling crosswords as a child at home
04.40 Anecdote about family conventions when unable to complete crossword
04.50 Discusses breaking crossword rules
06.20 Working method for compiling crosswords
08.40 Change in working method due to use of computers from 1982

10.20 Use of dictionaries and reference books
11.05 Complaints received
12.40 How the crossword has changed over time
13.55 Who has influenced the crossword
14.55 Influence of other Guardian crossword compilers
15.50 Discussion of Bunthorne, another crossword compiler
17.18 Developed crosswords for other newspapers such as the Financial Times and the BBC
17.35 Differences producing crosswords for them
18.50 Pseudonym when producing crosswords for the Financial Times is Cinephile
19.10 Receiving letters from readers
19.50 Discusses who completes crosswords

20.00 Actor Norman Roderick encouraged him through their correspondence
21.40 Actors Simon Russell Beale, Prunella Scales and Timothy West admitted to him they completed his crosswords
23.15 Discussion of Colin Dexter
24.40 The crossword as a British phenomenon
25.00 Crosswords unpopularity in America
25.20 Cryptic crosswords and other languages
26.10 How much time he spends on compiling crosswords
27.55 Invention of Bank holiday special editions of crossword
29.10 Favourite crossword clues he has produced

31.30 Own favourite clue he has produced
33.20 Length of clues
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Rev. John Graham

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