John Halpern

John spent years creating his first crossword. He played with words, breaking them apart and putting them back together in funny and unexpected ways. After much hard work and dedication, he sent off what he considered to be a perfect crossword to his favourite crossword compiler. It got him the job that has changed his life.

Today, depending on which newspaper you read, you might know John as ‘Paul’, ‘Dada’, ‘Mudd’ or ‘Punk’. As cryptic crossword setter for The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, he sees wordplay everywhere, from street signs to restaurant menus, where desserts might be 'stressed' backwards and spring water is a rearrangement of tiger prawns.

It is his belief in the power of words and wordplay to bring people together that he is sharing as the face of the Crossword Centenary, 2013. An author and speaker, he is currently touring the country facilitating crossword-based events, and helping communities create their own unique crosswords