Great Britain 2014, Doc., 10 min., OV/d
Director: Matt Houghton
Better known by his pseudonym «Araucaria», John Graham set the Guardian cryptic crossword for 55 years. In December 2012, crossword number 25,842 appeared in the paper with a series of clues that once solved, revealed a personal message from Araucaria to his puzzle-solving followers.
A puzzle in itself, this short film unpicks crossword number 25,842 to journey into John’s world of clue-making: the memories that he draws upon, the themes that inspire him and the faceless solvers he imagines as he writes. Blurring the lines between imagination and reality, Dear Araucaria meets the man who has given his life to crosswords and is only now coming to understand the dramatic impact he has had on a community of solvers.