Part of the puzzle this month is to reconstruct a crossword. The diagram on the right has 16 spaces into which you must place the 16 fragments at the left to complete a crossword of sensible words.

When you have completed the diagram you will be able to find the word that is the answer to this problem: What is the word for 17 down? The words are not numbered but you can work them out as the numbering is the same as used for all crosswords: left to right, top to bottom, with one number in each square that is the first letter of a word.

HINT: An interesting way to manipulate the fragments is to use the Paint program that comes with all versions of Windows. You can download the diagram by right-clicking it. Save the diagram on your computer and use the select tool with the option that the background is transparent. You can then try fitting the fragments into the appropriate place. If you make a mistake, use the Undo button on the Edit menu.

Scroll down for the solution.

Solvers were Colin Rowe, Jerry Tepper, John Bownas, Susanne Bone and Rosemary West with John Bownas winning the £5 book token. 17 down is "FIELD". Two solvers miscalculated the word numbering and gave the answer "MOTH" but I didn't feel like excluding them from the draw as they had clearly done the main part of the puzzle. The solution is to be found by scrolling down the page.























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