Anne Bradford, author and cruciverbalist who designed the first dictionary for crossword solvers – obituaries

In 1973, she won the National Scrabble Championship. However, she never won the Times Crossword Championship, despite being a runner-up on several occasions.

During the war she was evacuated to Alnwick in Northumberland, where she did so well in school that she was transferred to a grade with girls three years older than her. She has become the head girl.

After studying social sciences at King’s College Newcastle, then part of Durham University, she worked in an employment agency. In 1952 she married Francis Bradford, with whom she moved to north London, where he worked for BP. While their children were young, she worked from home and ran the part-time women’s employment agency at the university.

She later spent 21 years as a part-time secretary at a north London preparatory school, worked as a volunteer tutor in adult arithmetic and, in her eighties, volunteered in the books section of ‘a charitable palliative care store.

Her favorite crossword, she told The Lady magazine in 2013, included: “Pineapple rings in syrup (9)” (answer: grenadine); “Information given to the Communist in exchange for sex (6)” (response: gender) and “Cake-sandwiches-meat, at Uncle Sam’s party (8)” (response: Clambake).

Telegraph readers who cannot spot connections clearly need Bradford Crossword Solver’s dictionary.

Anne Bradford’s husband died in 2013 and a daughter also died before her. She is survived by two daughters and a son.

Anne Bradford, born November 3, 1930, died October 30, 2021


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