Don Manley has posted on the Crossword Centre forum the sad news that Rover has died. His full text can be seen here.
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My first ‘completed’ grid in the Guardian was a Rover puzzle, I believe in the summer of 08 on a Friday, I seem to remember 1ac being ‘radiator’ something hanging on walls, I can’t remember the entire clue, but remember several answers from that puzzle. I seemed always to be on his wavelength and found his style ‘my thing’.
Well lets hope the Guardian crossword editor has a stock pile of more Rover’s to come!
I am pleased to see some positive appreciation of Rover on this site. My original message on the Crossword Centre message board elicited no response whatever, and there was a somewhat minimalist acknowledgement on the Guardian’s own Crossword Talk site. Rover was on the easy and straightforward side, but was generally fair and entertaining. He was also a good, decent man. Rover and his work deserve to be remembered with affection.
Quite so, but it’s sad that on one website we hear more about a blogger’s problems with British Gas than we do about a loyal setter who surely deserved a tiny mention. I think this says a whole lot (not entirely good) about certain blogs and the people who tend to dominate them. End of story. May Rover rest in peace.
I don’t wish this post to go off topic, ie a tribute to Rover, but I have to say that I agree with your sentiment. I used to visit the Crossword Centre’s Message Board daily but now the majority of posts/comments have nothing whatsoever to do with crosswords. Fortunately I made one of my occasional visits soon after you posted the sad news and was therefore able to add something here.
Rover was one of the setters whose accessible puzzles gave me a entry into this wonderful pastime. In a busy week, his gentle crosswords provided a few minutes of fun and relaxation. He seems to have attracted more than his fair share of detractors on this site of late (I am a relative newcomer here and don’t know if it was ever thus), but I feel that many remarks on his puzzles often said at least as much about the commentator as about his crosswords. He was somebody who gave me much pleasure over the years and I shall miss him.
As a long time contributor to both sites, 15sq and Crossword Centre (CC), I think it’s only fair to say that the structure is different in each. Here each blog is on a specific puzzle, whereas the threads on the CC will vary, but, with the odd exception, are usually related to crosswords in one way or another. Also, CC contributors’ main interest as far as puzzles are concerned is the Listener, I’d say, so many of its contributors may not have tackled Rover(RIP)in the Guardian.
It looks to me as if he’s having a pop at contributors who didn’t like Rover puzzles very much, by reason of the compiler’s passing. This is underhand. I think we should be able to express opinions honestly, without fear of recrimination for whatever reason.
I noticed that on the crossword centre had no sorry to hear for Rover’s passing, I read the text as ‘if anybody knows Rover’ ?
I didn’t know Rover, and I guess that pretty much all who visit the crossword center are Listener, or advanced cryptic solvers. Rover not being that style of setter, made more sense for all to reply here as this is a daily cryptic site – in which Rover was part of.
Walruss. Re ‘underhand’. As far as I myself am concerned, I stated quite plainly on the day (May 11 @15) that I was surprised at the ‘unremitting harshness of some comments’ about Rover’s last offering. In this virtual world of ‘blog IDs’, it is perhaps too easy to go OTT.
I’ve never been much in sympathy with the virtual world of blog IDs. I’ve always posted whatever I had to say under my own name.
It was quite right to mark Rover’s passing here and, of course, “de mortuis nihil nisi bonum dicamus.” But it’s hardly appropriate to take issue with expressed opinions, however harsh, of his crosswords while he was alive.