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Blank grid of the crossword.

The Audio Cryptic Crossword, (October 15, 2007 - May 19, 2008) was a fan favorite championed by Andy Zaltzman. Towards the end of each show, Andy would give a space & direction in a crossword grid (available on the blog), followed by a clue. The reward promised upon completion of the ACC was the right to treat themselves to a cup of tea and a sit down, though the task of completing the puzzle rapidly became far more important than the aforementioned prize.

The Great Bugler Schism[]

Resistance is Futile

Perhaps the biggest legacy of the Audio Cryptic Crossword was the polarizing effect it had on the hosts and the literally billions of listeners caught up in the debate. The ACC quickly became something more divisive than a normal section of the Bugle, pitting the pro-puzzle Zaltzman against the anti-audio crossword Oliver. Buglers worldwide wrote in praising or condemning the crossword, and while a slight majority appeared to be on Andy’s side, it is nigh impossible to determine which side was greater number.

Even after May 15, 2008, when the final clue was given, the debate as to the worth of the ACC retrospectively. John then compared the crossword to the Third Reich, to which Andy quickly agreed, saying that it was "a triumph for persistence, doggedness, and the value of standing up to pressure from the other side of the Atlantic," and that “people were glad when the war was over, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the greatest part of British history."

The following issue contained an email from bugler Elliot from the UK, who included a complete and correct crossword, putting Oliver and his suspicion that no one was doing the ACC anyway very much in his place.

It was later found out that "Elliot" was really a pseudonym of Gordon Sumner, an anagram of François Marie Arouet, which was really John Oliver in disguise. Andy originally had intended to use the Audio Cryptic Crossword as plans for world domination, sending "cryptic" messages to "Elliot", to plan their domination and attack against John Oliver. Unfortunately for Andy, John deduced this and quickly set his goal to complete the crossword before the real Elliot. John then emailed in the crossword, foiling Andy and (The Real) Elliot's world domination scheme. Andy then realized this after reading the forum page where John bragged about this, saying, "Haha everybody, look at me, I'm awesome. I defeated and foiled Andy Zaltzman's plans for world domination with a discreet undertone and a lot of anonymity. Signed, John Oliver". Andy was furious.

Because of his anger, Andy then fought John on top of Big Ben in London, with various martial arts techniques and terrible jokes. It seemed an evenly matched battle, with neither side at an advantage, but suddenly, as if from nowhere, Florence Nightingale transcended upon the lone Buglators, to which Andy gained the advantage out of pure "happiness". However, this lead did not last long, as the Queen (Yes, Her Majesty Herself) ran up and joined on John's side. The battle grew; Florence and Andy vs. John and The Queen. It seemed as if both sides were equal, when suddenly, Big Ben exploded from the fighting. The dust and debris slowly cleared, revealing the victor: AN IMPALA. There, above the wreckage, stood the mighty, cunning Impala, who then pranced away after victory, to go home, sit on the couch, make fun of lions, and enjoy his triumph. All because of the Audio Cryptic Crossword.

Potential Replacements[]

Resistance is Futile

Though a regular replacement has not appeared to fill the void left after the completion of the Audio Cryptic crossword, John and Andy have tried a few different ideas in the issues that have come out since the crossword's end.

Featured Replacements[]

  • Audio Spot The Difference
  • Audio Sudoku
  • Build your own soundscape from history
  • Multiple Choice Quiz Question (a notable variant includes Left Side vs. Right Side of your Brain)
  • Audio Naughts and Crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe)
  • Audio Game of Bridge
  • Audio 500-Piece Jumbo-Jigsaw-Puzzle (depicting Hieronymus Bosch's The Last Judgement)
  • Audio Chess game

Bugler Suggested Replacements[]

  • The What Venga Boy song am I signing? Quiz
  • An audio german boggle; Rejected after the words "heil mein fuhrer" appeared during the first round, thereby bringing the world to the brink of a Nuclear Holocaust, World War III, and the complete destruction of Civalisation.

Notable Kerfuffle Creating Omissions[]

On several occasions Andy repeated a clue that had been previously been included in an earlier issue, and although he didn't give a full explanation at the time, it is highly likely that the omissions were due to Andy's habit of dwelling obsessively on historical hottie, Florence Nightingale, thus distracting him from his duties of reading the Cryptic Crossword clues.

The clues were posted on the Bugle's official website after they were released, but the clue for 23 Across has been omitted without explanation from any of those involved.

Audio Cryptic Crossword Clues[]

Number Appears In Issue: Clue # Letters
1 1 Bangers made by wise men all across America, the cheaper ones may contain pigs' testicles 8
5 4 Take financial advantage from finding one time Wimbledon champion at home 4, 2
10 6 Stop, after snake makes road surface 7
11 8 He got ripped off partly, on self-indulgent spree 3, 4
12 21 & 25 King of computing heads off east then south to find things with dragons faces on that inevitably crash to the ground and disappoint children 5
13 29 What Beckett might have his characters do to chivvy things along today? Contact Almighty before it gets off topic 4, 5
14 9 Two old prime ministers suggest out loud that Prince stops for new tires and refueling 7, 5
18 24 A messed up sham in South Africa leads to an opening to do some vandalism 5, 1, 6
21 22 Eating an alien for supper we better use the china we were given for our wedding but we never use 6, 3
23 23 Sheep follows manufacturer of computer sports games, which turn into wolf 3, 2
24 7 Virginia met a large mammal, get outta here 7
25 11 Working on time leads to headless Blair being overthrown and facing justice 2, 5
26 17 Whack a golf ball, it starts left, oh that's rubbish 6
27 19 Coffee's paranormal power begins to rankle with massive oil company 8

Number Appears In Issue: Clue # Letters
1 2 Stretches across a round king and whacks his arse 6
2 5 Snooty little dog loses his head around computers 6
3 3 & 10 This madman lost direction, became completely confused and had an institute named after him 4, 5
4 26 Is this what Blair did to his time in office? Hospital department on which I depend withered 8, 6
6 26 Going from one end to the other but it's a messy goal around the end of season 5
7 12 Edith and Spanish king are head over heels, the result is a curious basis for deciding who the king should be 8
8 28 New England soul singer appears in the afternoon and gets a job he's not really qualified for because of who his daddy is? Ah, it's an on going workplace injustice 8
9 14 Hold the flowers, they bring the dead back to life 14
15 18 In favour of a five day international cricket match, initially Otis Redding is the guy holding a placard 9
16 16 Do this if you want to know how to pull off a giant killing 3, 5
17 15
  • For girls: Top selling ice cream with endless pudding, surely this is Tom Selleck’s favourite part?
  • For boys: Holding guns to the heads of piano instructors, that's how Tom Selleck made a living throughout the 1980s
6, 1, 1
19 27 Brainbox Aristotle's smash-hit, chart-topping, morality or bust bestseller is, in fact, a pile of sh*te about a catcher 6
20 13 A Greek God or an Italian chicken? 6
22 20 Odysseus's wife drops her writing implements to run away with another man 5

(Note that 17 Down constitutes the Bugle's contribution to International Gender Stereotyping Week 2008)

The Answers[]

Can't decipher the cryptic crossword? You could look at the answers. Fuck you Chris

The Sections of the Bugle
Audio Cryptic Crossword Ask An American Fact-Off
Bugle Forecast Hotties From History Sport