I love crosswords, often spending all week (nearly) completing David Astle’s crossword in Friday’s Age. His book Puzzled is an excellent guide and entry point into this devious world (and something we long-term solvers did without).

I’ve started compiling my own crosswords for special occasions. While they are full of references that only the recipient will understand (you’ll see lots of musical references), I have compiled the crosswords with a general audience in mind, so hopefully knowing my circle of friends should not be necessary for enjoyment of the puzzles. It would be fair to say that there are more proper nouns than in the average crossword, but I will avoid a name unless I can think of a well-known reference for definition element.

These crosswords are plain old PDFs. If you use Safari, Safari will want to try to display them within the browser and the Adobe Reader will block that, when all you really want to do is print out the PDF and get to work with your pencil. In Safari, right-click on the link, and select “Save Linked File” to download the PDF directly.

Crossword Six contains an antipodean theme. Solution here.

Crossword Five is for cryptic-loving Twitterati (specifically @Crypticrochet, @dontattempt, @Gladbaqs, @Jonathan_Wallis, @LRxword, @rup31, and @Sarah_Lolley). Solution here.

Crossword Four is for Doctor 18-down (AKA Pedantor). When I gave him Crossword One, he made it known to me that he was having a big birthday in October. How could I resist? Solution here.

Crossword Three is for my mother-in-law, a keen solver of almost anything except DA, and a 16-down of the 7-down profession. Happy birthday Lynette! Solution here.

Crossword Two has a slightly nicer looking grid than the first. It’s been a big year! Solution here.

Crossword One is my first attempt. The grid is a bit of a car-crash, but there are some nice clues. The solution is here.