One of Britain’s top crossword compilers says he has devised the world’s hardest ever puzzle – which he claims will take two years to solve.
Marc Breman, 56, believes his cryptic creation will leave the most hardcore crossword fans feeling extremely down and cross.
He says the puzzle is 100 times harder than any he has designed in 30 years making them for various national newspapers.
It includes 64 ‘fiendishly tough’ clues that are virtually impossible for a layman to crack – regardless of their command of the English language.
Even easier clues – such as 44 Down’s ‘Fuss about a large bear (6)’ – are said to be ‘significantly harder’ than those found in most newspapers.
Marc Breman, 56, believes his cryptic creation will leave the most hardcore crossword fans feeling extremely down and cross
The puzzle includes 64 ‘fiendishly tough’ clues that are virtually impossible for a layman to crack. Even easier clues – such as 44 Down’s ‘Fuss about a large bear (6)’ – are said to be ‘significantly harder’ than those found in most newspapers
The crossword has even defied attempts of fellow compilers, who described it as ‘horrendously tricky’ and ‘the world’s hardest’.
Mr Breman and his peers believe it would take the normal crossword fan at least two years – and possibly even longer – to complete it.
Mr Breman, who has compiled crosswords for titles including the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Sunday Telegraph, writes an average of 13,500 clues per year and has constructed more than 30,000 puzzles since 1991.
He said: ‘I’m not saying that this crossword cannot be completed, because of course it can. But it is nevertheless fiendishly tough and significantly harder than anything I’ve ever compiled before.
Breman (pictured) writes an average of 13,500 clues per year and has constructed more than 30,000 puzzles since 1991
‘It was referred to by a colleague as the “world’s hardest” – an opinion which, based on my own professional experience, seems about right.’
He previously completed other puzzles claiming to be the ‘world’s hardest’ in a matter of days.
But the unprecedented difficulty of his latest crossword – which he devised for ‘fun’ – lies in its linguistic wordplay, codes and numerous hidden meanings.
Its hardest clue is said to be 4 Down – Dishonest, short of getting further at King’s Head – because it ‘relies on an uncommon usage of an obscure word’.
Unlike straight crosswords, which can be solved with the help of a thesaurus or internet program, cryptic puzzles like this one can only be completed with experience and an ability to think laterally.
The puzzle can be downloaded from Breman’s website, marcbreman.london.
The first 10 people who crack it will receive a signed copy of his new book, The Foggiest Notion, which is itself based on a crossword puzzle.
They will also lay claim to completing what those in the industry overwhelmingly agree is the hardest cryptic crossword ever created.
Breman, who lives in London, said the average enthusiast takes around a week to fully complete the hardest cryptic crosswords currently on offer.
‘Based on the feedback of other compilers who have seen it or tried it, mine is about 100 times harder,’ he said.
‘If that description is indeed correct, then it stands to reason that it would take the average enthusiast 100 times longer to solve it.
‘This amounts to 100 weeks, or just over two years.’
Anyone who thinks they have solved the crossword can submit it to Marc at www.marcbreman.london
The first 10 people who solve it will receive a signed copy of his new book, The Foggiest Notion, which is based on a crossword puzzle.