From time to time, customers order custom crosswords from us that are about subjects we've never seen before. This is one of those times.
We've just had an order for a custom crossword with clues, all based around a little seaside resort in England called Woolacombe, in the county of Devon. It's such a great idea!
Like so many great customer ideas, once we saw it, it seemed so obvious!
We guess that the crossword was created as a gift for someone who has a holiday home in Woolacombe, or perhaps someone who visits there regularly. The crossword is full of lovely little personal details; the name of a dog, the name of a favourite pub, the name of a local shop. A lot of love and a lot of thought has clearly gone into creating it.
Some of the clues and answers are completely meaningless to us (there's a reference to Scotch eggs, for example), but that's one of the reasons why crosswords make such good gifts: they're extremely personal. What's meaningless to us is something that makes complete sense to whoever the crossword was created for.
Perhaps there are in-jokes on the crossword that we're not in on. Perhaps there are reminders of good times. Perhaps the crossword was created for someone who hasn't been able to visit Woolacombe recently. Perhaps the crossword will hang in the holiday home or perhaps it will hang somewhere else, a constant reminder of a special place. So many perhaps's (is that the right way to pluralise perhaps?).
Personalised crosswords are a brilliant way of putting a little bit of 'you' into a gift - without your creative powers and persistence, a crossword is nothing more than a blank grid on an empty sheet of paper.
But a crossword grid plus your clues and answers equals a fantastically personal and unique gift.It's something that no one else can give, something that whoever you're giving to can't receive from anyone else. You have your own unique viewpoint, your own observations and recollections, your own idea of what's important to the person you're creating the crossword for.
You can give them memories. You can make them smile. You never know, you might even make them cry.
We love designing traditional crosswords with clues because every one of them is so personal, so full of meaning. We design the crossword from your clues and answers - they're not always easy to design, by the way! We often end up making tweaks and adjustments so we can get it as good as we think is possible.
If you're thinking of creating a crossword for someone, here are a few quick tips:
We love sharing brilliant ideas from customers because someone else might be inspired to create a version of their own. What unique crossword will YOU create? And who will you create it for?