January 23, 2014 at 9:52 AM

I’m going to be doing another game show on Saturday! But this one is a bit different…

Some of you may have heard of a German game show that I have been part of a UK commentary team for called “Schlag Den Raab”, meaning “Beat the Raab” (Stefan Raab is a German entertainer). It’s a show that takes place 6 times a year, is live, and lasts about 6 hours with millions of euros of prize money up for grabs. When it takes place, myself and three other game show experts provide a UK commentary for it over YouTube.

Anyway, David Bodycombe is organising “Beat The Brig”, where Brig is one of the other commentators, and the challenger contestant is… ME! It is going to take place this SATURDAY from 8pm, and will consist of 15 head to head games of me vs. Brig. It will be broadcast on YouTube, and I hope that you will be able to watch it!

As a sense of how amazing this is going to be, both Brig and myself have been mailed a parcel of props for the evening, which we can’t open until instructed on the night. David Bodycombe is a Big Cheese of the game show world, he has been the main Question Editor for Only Connect and has devised challenges for The Mole and The Crystal Maze, amongst other works. So this is a big deal.

I hope you’re able to watch from 8PM, THIS SATURDAY. It is likely (but not certain) that it will remain on YouTube afterwards. But trust me, you’re going to want to watch this!

All the details, including the YouTube link (which will appear on the day), are at . I hope you can join me on the night!

December Update to the 2500 Clue Challenge – I DID IT!

January 6, 2014 at 12:24 AM

Time’s up. 2013 has been and gone and… I’VE COMPLETED THE 2500 CLUE CHALLENGE!!! YAAAAAAY!

I solved my 2500th clue on Christmas Eve, making it a lovely present for the following day. I continued to attempt solving the remaining crosswords in the year, and I ended the year having solved 2580 clues!

This month’s Clue Of The Month is by Paul from 24/12/13, and happens to be the 2500th clue solved: You 500? (4). Answer coming later.

Some stats: I solved 2580 clues, including 4 completely correct crosswords. Mondays were the easiest, Thursdays were the hardest. Most common number of clues solved in a day: 10. Most solved setter: Rufus, with 526 clues solved, counting for more than a fifth of all the clues I solved. I happened to meet Rufus in central London a couple of week ago, and he’s a lovely man and quite proficient at magic tricks. His thumb lit up when I shook his hand. Anyway, thank you Rufus.

It’s now time to dig deep into your festive pockets and donate to the 2500 Clue Challenge at . If you’ve pledged 1p per clue and have been donating a fiver at a time, please donate £5.80 this time, as I solved a bonus 80 clues this time. I’ll have a look through past donations and try to let you know how much you’ve donated (as it can be hard to remember what you do last week, let alone last year!).

The answer to the Clue Of The Month is: THOU. 500 is half of a THOUSAND, and half of the word THOUSAND is THOU. Brilliant.

The Clue Of The Year though does have to go to Philistine (Puzzle 25947 on 14/05/13) for Rupert Murdoch is old (6,3,5) for BEHIND THE TIMES. That tickles my funnybone, so please accept this small pile of kudos.

Thank you all once again for the incredible support you’ve shown to me, I honestly wouldn’t have been able to do it without knowing you were all cheering me on and emailing me asking me how it was going. I’ve no idea what my Next Charity Thing will be, but I’m looking forward to making it happen.