The Man Who Was Thursday

Bert Danher was a crossword compiler for The Daily Telegraph newspaper. His puzzles appeared on Thursdays, and he was considered the most inventive of The Daily Telegraph's 10 compilers. Anagrams were a favorite, and his love of classical music also was evident in many of his clues.

Born in Liverpool, Mr. Danher became a clerk with the Liverpool Cotton Commission after leaving school. During World War II, he trained as a Royal Air Force crewman, but never saw active service.

Mr. Danher spent eight years as an insurance inspector in Wales and then worked as a music teacher in the Liverpool area; he once played the French horn with the Royal Liverpool Harmonic and ran an amateur orchestra that gave Simon Rattle one of his first conducting jobs.

His uncle Jim McCartney - Paul's father - inspired his love of crosswords, and in 1974 Mr. Danher became a professional compiler, contributing puzzles to several London papers, including The Guardian and The Times.

He also wrote questions for the TV quiz show, 'University Challenge'.

Queen Elizabeth II reportedly did his crosswords and the Queen Mother reportedly is also a fan. An enlarged copy of her birthday crossword, consisting of clues about her life, was carried by two children at a parade in London to mark the royal matriarch's centenary.

Bert Danher died on 14th March 2002 in his home town of Oxton near Birkenhead in northwest England. His final crossword was published on 31 May 2002, and was a special prize puzzle to mark the occasion.

Adapted from, from Associated Press, 16/3/2002

Telegraph Crossword Society:

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