Help to Improve the Archive
The Azed Slip Archive contains 627 Azed Slips, and 15,014 clues.
There are records for 3,190 Azed competitors.
In 627 competitions, Azed has awarded 1,879 prizes,
13,137 VHCs and 33,551 HCs
from an estimated 198,715 entries.
The combined Ximenes and Azed Archives contain 1,081 competitions, with 23,797 clues and 5,963 competitors.
This page is updated automatically as documents are added to the Archive.
03 Apr 2020 All Azed puzzles on the Guardian website are now linked on & lit. Follow the new link in the right hand column.
29 Apr 2018 & lit site transferred to new web host and new database.
02 Aug 2015 A link to the latest Azed puzzle (print version) is now published every Sunday in the homepage’s right hand column.
25 Jul 2015 Words and pictures from the Azed 2,250 celebration lunch added to the Archive.
27 Jun 2015 Ximenes archive completed with 452 Slips and 8,764 clues. Ximenes competitions added to the BROWSE ARCHIVE page and competition and competitor lists.
19 Apr 2014 Start of the Ximenes archive. First Ximenes Slips published.
17 Apr 2014 Software upgrade. You probably won’t notice much difference, but I certainly will!
26 Aug 2012 Added explanations of many of the Special Clue Types to the Clue Type lists of the Browse Archive page.
13 Jan 2012 Updated the main WordStats page and added new statistics to the competition WordStats pages.
30 Dec 2011 Published a redesigned Annual Honours Table that is compatible with the latest versions of all the major browsers.
12 May 2011 Improvement to the keyword search facility that allows any word of three letters or more to be searched for, except for a few very common words like ‘the’.
27 Jan 2011 Competitor and competition WordStats pages added to the archive, showing statistics of clue lengths and word frequencies in clues.
18 Aug 2010 ‘Lifetime’ honours information added to the ‘clues by competitor’ pages. New top competitors page showing rankings the most successful competitors across the whole Azed series.
12 May 2010 Improvements to various list pages. ‘By competitor’ and ‘By competition’ clue lists now include linked HC lists. ‘Right and Left’ and other multi-word competitions are listed under each of their words in ‘By clue word’ lists. New browser shortcut icon added. Upgrade of underlying software to improve security.
9 Apr 2009 Improved search facility to allow searches in clue explanations and to include three-letter words in searches.
26 Sep 2008 Embargo on viewing clues and comments lifted entirely as the Slip is now freely available on the Guardian website. The drop-down list of Slips on the homepage is now presented in descending order (most recent competitions first).
19 Mar 2008 Dr Watson’s competition puzzle reviews added to the archive.
16 Feb 2008 Keyword search facility for clues and comments added to the Browse Archive page. Embargo on viewing VHC clues and comments reduced from 12 months to 1 month.
2 Feb 2008 Upgrade of underlying software to improve security. Some pages may load a little more slowly, and some faster, but existing functionality is not affected.
15 Nov 2007 Historical Archive completed. Annual Honours record, alternative names and joint entry links added to competitor clue lists. Clue-type link added to competition clue lists. Cosmetic changes to various lists. Some style changes to improve rendering in Mozilla Firefox.
10 Sep 2007 Technical change to allow the Archive to recognise and display Slips with no clues (no 345).
25 May 2007 Technical change to allow the Archive to display special characters properly on browsers without character set encoding.
Watch the homepage and the
Crossword Centre’s message board for information about planned developments of the & lit. site.
I welcome comments and suggestions for improvements or developments to the site. Please email me at
The archive is built from copies of the original paper Slips using optical character recognition (OCR) software. This is a fairly slow and labour-intensive process as the electronic version of each Slip needs to be checked thoroughly, and the contents of each Slip needs to be converted to a format suitable for storing in the Archive. Errors inevitably creep in and need to be corrected. If you find any errors or inaccuracies in the Archive, please let me know. You can email & lit. at the address above.
One feature of the Archive is that you can find all the clues and awards of individual competitors across the whole history of the competition. This is only possible if the competitor is uniquely and accurately identified in each slip in which he or she appears. Since competitors are identified in the Slips by name (title, initials and surname), there are several ways in which their identification may become inaccurate.
- Their title may change (e.g. Miss, Ms, Mrs, Dr), and competitors may change surname or even pseudonym.
- They may use a different set of initials in different competition entries.
- There may be different competitors with the same name competing at different times.
- Their name may be published wrongly in the Slip.
Each individual competitor is given a unique ‘cluer ID’ in the archive so that they may appear under more than one name while maintaining an accurate record of their entries. I have allocated the cluer IDs on my best guess as to which names represent the same individual, but I may have got it wrong in some cases. If you see clues or awards that are wrongly allocated, please let me know.
Where a combined entry (by 2 or more individuals) is recorded in a Slip, the combined name is given a unique cluer ID, based on the last surname. If one of the joint competitors also has individual entries in the Archive, combined and individual entries are not credited to the same competitor in the ‘clues by competitor’ lists. This practice was not always adopted by Azed, who occasionally awarded both joint and individual entries to one competitor when compiling the Annual Honours List. Consequently there are in some years differences between the Annual Honours positions shown in the Annual Honours pages of the Archive and the lists shown on the Slips.
I can, on request, allocate combined entries to the individual record of one (but not both) of the competitors.