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About the Author

Simon Martin

 ‘Enigma’ of The Daily Telegraph.



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 to

The Daily Telegraph from early 2005.

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