Never knowingly undersolved.

Albie Fiore

Posted by Colin Blackburn on July 29th, 2009

Colin Blackburn.

John Henderson posted the following notice elsewhere yesterday. I thought bloggers and readers here would like to know.

“Albie Fiore (aka Taupi of the Guardian, and Satori of the FT) died this morning.”

20 Responses to “Albie Fiore”

  1. Don Manley says:

    This is a graet shock. It is very sad and unexpected news. Do we know more? Albie and I go back a long way — he was a terrific editor of Games and Puzzles in the seventies.

  2. Conrad Cork says:

    That is the saddest news I have heard in ages. I admired Taupi so much. RIP to a great compiler. Never to be forgotten.

    My thoughts are with his family and friends.

    There ought to be a memorial of some sort. Any ideas?

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Don, that’s all the message said. John H might be able to say more, his post was to the Crossword Centre message board.

    Games and Puzzles was my first introduction to advanced cryptics even though I bought the magazine for board games rather than crosswords. I didn’t know Albie Fiore was the editor but I’m certainly glad the puzzles were there.

  4. Paul B says:

    What a sad thing to have happened.

    Mr Mole helped me enormously when I was trying to get my crosswording act together, under the guise of ‘exchanging puzzles': I’m not certain I said a single thing about his stuff that could have improved it, but he sure as hell gave my efforts a lift. And then, after bringing me up a level or two, in typically unselfish style he gave me the nod to send something in to the FT alongside his own first submissions for that paper.

    Cheers, Albie. You were a seriously nice bloke, generous to a fault – and a really brilliant writer.

  5. Paul says:

    Just a great guy, and a terrific setter.

    I remember him for his bike with the basket, his mad curly grey hair, his chuckling, terrific sense of humour, and his friendship. His puzzles were elegant, unfussy, imaginative and witty.

    My love and thoughts go to his family.

    John Halpern (Paul)

  6. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    As a blogger who has had a chance to write on FT puzzle(s) by Satori on this website, I am sad to hear this.

    I offer my condolences to the bereaved.

    in Madras that is Chennai, India

  7. Shed says:

    As Paul says, a great guy and a terrific setter. I can’t really add to that, except to say I hope those who were close to him realise how much he’ll be missed by his solvers and his fellow compilers.

    John Young (Shed)

  8. Jake says:

    I rather enjoy Satori.
    His puzzles were (for me) a steep learning curve in solving.
    Rarely did he show up, but when he did, I was chuffed about solving them!

    So, farewell Mr Fiore.

    I’m sorry to here the news. RIP Sir.


  9. Eileen says:

    It has been very moving to read the tributes of several compilers who had the privilege to meet and know Albie / Taupi / Satori. As a solver, I should like to add my own. I was reminded of Neil Weller’s comment on the death of Eric Burge [Quantum] just over a year ago:

    “To a non-crossworder, it would seem that I should therefore hardly notice his passing. What they don’t realise is that the thing about solving someone’s crosswords is that over a number of years you learn what makes them laugh, what irritates them and what interests them. Good setters have a “voice” that you can pick out in a moment.”

    I’ve been looking back through the 15² archive for Taupi / Satori puzzles and among the comments I’ve found are ‘usual good stuff’, ‘tough / terrific challenge’, ‘terrific surface readings’, ‘more than excellent … bloody marvellous’, ‘a puzzle that doesn’t come under the easy category’. I’d agree with all of that – usually a real challenge but very rarely anything that could be considered unfair. I treasure the fact that I once had a personal response to a comment of mine – it’s always rather wonderful when setters respond. My comment was misguided – but the reply was so gracious.

    I’ve always felt we didn’t see enough of Taupi / Satori but I feel I have lost a friend. Thank you so much. RIP.

  10. stiofain says:

    Im sorry to hear this.
    Ive always enjoyed the rare Taupi we were treated to in the Guardian hopefully there are some submitted but not yet published puzzles to come.
    Judging from the comments he was not only a joy to us solvers but a mentor and friend to many setters and a nice guy.

  11. Rufus says:

    I only knew Albie from his puzzles which were always a joy to solve. In the days setters used to have get-togethers in London and Manchester for the FT and Guardian, he was never there when I managed to attend. I should have liked and, from all accounts, enjoyed meeting him. He will be sadly missed.

  12. julia says:

    I knew that Albie wrote puzzles, books, crosswords. It ends there. To me Albie was a Dad, a brilliant, amazing, nutty Dad and the dearest friend anyone could wish for. Bloomsbury, Holborn, Kings Cross will be a sadder, bleaker place without Albie cycling around on his butchers bike, berret perched on top of the mass of mad curlyness.
    His wife Sue and children Iggy, Theo and Millie have now to contemplate life without this kind, lovely, fantastic genius of a man. To me that is hard enough, I cannot simply imagine this kind of loss though I will forever smile at the memories through my tears.

  13. croque says:

    That’s beautiful, julia.

    R.I.P. Taupi.

  14. Sue Fiore says:

    The family has a memorial blog at – please add your own memories and thoughts of Albie.

  15. gsgeorge says:

    I admired Albie.. his puzzles were a joy to solve.
    Deepest condolences.

  16. IanP says:

    Sorry to hear this. Though perhaps not as openly vaunted as some of his colleagues he never disappointed.

  17. wilf johnson says:

    I’ve known albie for most of my life, i was best friends with his son theo.
    I always used to love coming round and watching albie draw his many artistic animations.
    I remeber when he used to pick me and theo up from school in yr 1-2 on his bike with 3 seats on it, and then he used to treat us by going to the sweet shop.
    And then we’d ride home and watch jaws over and over again.
    Albie will be missed very much.
    A very kind and honest man, and is such a shock to all of his family and friends.

  18. Steven says:

    Such a shame. My heart goes out to Albies friends and family.

    Thanks for the crosswords Taupi.

    R.I.P mate.

  19. smutchin says:

    I missed this announcement (thanks for the pointer, Eileen), so the first I heard of Taupi’s death was today’s Guardian crossword tribute by Paul and Enigmatist.

    To be honest, Taupi not being one of the more notorious setters (and my memory being poor), I had to look back through the archive to remind myself of whether or not I’m a fan of his stuff! Doing so, I found the blog for Guardian puzzle no.24,613 on 3 Feb, which I remember was a particularly brilliant piece of work.

    That puzzle includes some fine examples of the kind of wit that is the main reason I love cryptic crosswords.

    A very sad loss to the world of cryptic crosswords.

  20. Brendan says:

    I, too, only heard this news today through the joint Paul/Enigmatist puzzle which the wife and I have not yet started on. It is very sad to get to know someone only through their obituary. Our sincere condolences to his wife and family.

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