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Cheeke, William (fl. 1592–1615?), anagrammatist, is of obscure origin. In his only printed work he identifies himself as ‘Gulielmo Checo Durotrige’ and ‘Guil. Cheeke. Austro-Britannus’, suggesting a connection with southern England, perhaps Dorset. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, at the beginning of 1592 and graduated BA from there on 14 February 1596....

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Dudeney, Henry Ernest (1857–1930), compiler of mathematical puzzles, was born in Mayfield, Sussex, on 10 April 1857, the third child and second son in the family of three sons and seven daughters of Gilbert Dudeney (1825–1877), a schoolmaster in a Methodist school at ...

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Gillies, Ian Malcolm (1927–2002), question-setter and broadcaster, was born at Upper Heath, Hampstead, London, on 7 December 1927, the son of Duncan Neil Gillies, company accountant, and his wife, Elsie Mary, née Nowell, of 16B Golders Way, Golders Green, London. He spent his early life in ...

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Macnutt, Derrick Somerset [pseud. Ximenes] (1902–1971), crossword compiler and schoolmaster, was born on 29 March 1902 at Coomrith, Carlisle Road, Eastbourne, Sussex, the elder child and only son of Frederic Brodie Macnutt (1873–1949), curate-in-charge of Christ Church, Wimbledon, and his first wife, ...

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John Bradbury Sykes (1929–1993) by Peter Thevnor © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Sykes, John Bradbury (1929–1993), physicist, lexicographer, and crossword solver, was born in Folkestone, Kent, on 26 January 1929, the only child of Stanley William Sykes, a borough treasurer, and his wife, Eleanor Sykes Sykes (née Bradbury). He was educated at Wallasey grammar school...

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Thomas [née Ready; other married name Baldry], (Elsie Ethel) Irene (1920–2001), quiz panellist and radio personality, was born at 77 Tachbrook Road, Feltham, Middlesex, on 28 June 1920, the only child of Edmund Robert Ready, a foundling who was fifth clarinet in the band of the ...

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Wynne, Arthur (1871–1945), crossword puzzle deviser, was born on 22 June 1871 at 2 Everton Village, Everton, Liverpool, the son of George Wynne, editor of the Liverpool Courier, and his wife, Delicia Eliza Ann Sheldon. He had one brother and one sister. As a young man ...