The best clues from 25 years of Ximenes clue writing competitions and over 40 years of Azed competitions can be found on the marvellous &lit. website. Apart from browsing the individual Ximenes and Azed slips, which contain the best clues together with Ximenes’s or Azed’s comments, the archive allows the searching by keyword of both the clues and the slips. If you want to check whether Azed accepts ‘posturing’ as an anagram indicator, search the archive by¬†selecting the ‘Azed’ radio button, ‘Find a clue – By keywords’, and typing in the word ‘posturing’ (yes, it was successfully used twice in competition 1338). Or if you’d like to see Azed’s various comments on composite anagrams, select the ‘Azed’ radio button, ‘Find a comment – By keywords’, and enter the word ‘composite’¬†(you’ll find that plenty of material is returned!)

For aspiring clue writers, the Sunday Times Clue Writing Competition site is highly recommended. Every week a word is provided for which competitors must produce a clue in the style of the Sunday Times blocked cryptic (for which Collins dictionary is the standard reference). Dual Times Crossword champion Peter Biddlecombe judges the competition and provides a review, giving his views not only on the winning clue but also on the ‘best of the rest’ and on some of the less successful efforts, the latter group remaining anonymous and the comments being constructive.