​Our Ethos and Experience

Solving Cryptic Crosswords is about much more than knowing lots of words. The mechanics of solving a clue require an analytic mind, logic and reasoning. To finish a hard cryptic crossword requires a flexible problem-solving approach. At Crossword Tutors we recognise that Crossword Solving improves these higher cognitive skills, and that's why we believe in teaching this valuable brain-training method.

Teaching you can trust

Before setting up Crossword Tutors, founder and Director Kaz Lyon (BSc, MSc, ACA) studied undergraduate Neuroscience for 4 years, postgraduate Neuropsychology for a further year, and postgraduate Complexity Science for 6 months. He was a researcher in the Memory Group at Bristol University's Psychology Department for 2 years. 

His studies and research into how the brain and mind work, with particular focus on memory, gave him a deeper fascination with cryptic crosswords and the application and development of vocabulary networks, memory access and analytic thinking.


Here's Kaz performing against the clock at "Ignite" Bristol in Summer 2010 (just after the football World Cup...) - 5 minutes, 20 slides, no prisoners! Fortunately Crossword Tutors workshops are run at a more civilised pace!

Kaz has delivered presentations at scientific conferences, has taught in secondary schools, and has run public engagement activities at science fairs. He's been professionally teaching crossword solving for over 5 years, and continues to run our popular workshops, as well as corporate away days, school clubs, charity events, and private tuition.



See things differently

Expert graphic designer by day, budding snooker champion by night, tutor Ben Summers (BSc) is always looking for a new angle, and he is always amazed by the creativity which a crosswording mind can bring to a project.


Many medical professionals agree that doing some form of regular mental activity is great for keeping brains healthier in later life, and Ben also believes that cryptic crossword solving develops one's ability to tackle problems from several different directions. By training your mind to take a flexible, 'think outside the box' approach, problem-solving - for any project, be it at work, home or elsewhere - becomes far easier and much more fun!


Here's Ben explaining the joy of crosswords at a workshop in Reading Library in 2014. Ben continues to run workshops both for the public and at corporate away days, as well as Crossword Clubs and private tuition in and around London and the south. 


Open your mind                 

With a PhD in chemistry, and a black belt in martial arts, tutor Dem Jardel knows a thing or two about trying new things.


Dem hadn't ventured further than the sudoku before attending a Crossword Tutors workshop back in 2010, and went on to set the cryptic puzzle for his company magazine, before joining Crossword Tutors as a workshop leader.


"When I discovered cryptic crosswords I loved how creative they are, and how they play with the entire English language."