Simon Martin was born in 1950 and was educated at
Dean Close School, Cheltenham, Warwick University, Loughborough University
of Technology and the RAF College Cranwell. He followed an engineering
career in the RAF, retiring early as a Wing Commander in 1990. Simon is
currently the Overseas Director for the Royal Air Forces Association. He is
married to Janet and has two grown-up children.
Simon first got involved with crosswords as a
teenager in the mid-60s taking on the challenge of The Daily Telegraph’s cryptic crossword. He started compiling
crosswords for RAF Stations’ monthly magazines, going from the humble
beginnings of the concise puzzle to the full-bloodied cryptic type. On
leaving the RAF, he spent time in the crossword department of The Independent learning ‘the
ropes’. It was at this stage that Simon assumed the pseudonym ‘Enigma’.
Although he appreciates that clueing format and
complexity have to be different for each publication in order to maintain
the appropriate ethos, his personal style is for the ‘elegant’ clue
employing everyday words and phrases. Hence, one of his own favourite clues
is: ‘Response to Shane Warne’s spinners (6)’ = Answer.
Simon believes that a good crossword is one that,
whilst providing a challenge, is solvable by the many, rather than,
perhaps, one that is over-complex using abstruse words and clueing only
solvable by the few. Since 1990, Simon has compiled very many crosswords
including thematic puzzles for The
Saturday Independent Magazine/Weekend Review and became a contributor
The Daily Telegraph from early