BEHIND THE SCENES
Gerda Engelbrecht is the mastermind behind our popular special edition go! Puzzles. She’s mad about crosswords and she even owns crossword-print pyjamas. True story!
Igrew up in a crossword-crazy home. Every week when my mom got her latest Huisgenoot, she’d stay up late to finish the crossword. I started working at Huisgenoot in 2011 and I quickly put up my hand to be the editor of their biannual crossword book. I’m a bookworm myself and I was soon addicted to playing with words. Now I compile about a thousand crossword puzzles a year. Sometimes, when I go on holiday, I tell myself to take a break. But by the second day I can’t help switching on my computer. I also still enjoy doing crosswords – mostly in English because English is my second language and I want to improve my vocabulary. Crosswords remain popular in South Africa and I’ve received complimentary letters from a range of people: young and old, homemakers and professionals. In New York, more than a thousand people gather every year to compete in the The New York Times crossword puzzle tournament. I attended it once – it was like going down the rabbit hole into a different world. One woman walked around in crossword pyjamas and no one batted an eye. (It wasn’t me, I promise, but I ordered mine soon after!) Long after the last cellphone has been replaced by a chip in your chin, people will still open a magazine, sharpen a pencil and fill in a crossword. Hopefully one that I have created!
go! Puzzles #2 (R45) will be on shelf from 4 December. You can also order a copy from winkel.weg.co.za