About Crosaire, The Irish Times cryptic crossword


Crosaire, the cryptic crossword in The Irish Times, has a long history.

The original setter, Derek Crozier, set the crossword for 67 years. Crosaire by Mac An Iarla, set by Roy Earle, followed for a short period before Paul O’Doherty – Crosaire by Crossheir – took over in June 2012.

Two new setters took over from O’Doherty in May 2022, alternating every second day: Crosaire by Dominic and Crosaire by Le Corsaire.

The style of a cryptic crossword can take a bit of getting used to, particularly when there are new setters. It’s definitely a question of practice.


The popular online blog, with explanations of each clue solution, came to an end on May 24th, 2022 when the new online crossword features were introduced on irishtimes.com. Those old blogs are available here.

From May 2nd, 2022 onwards, full explanations are available for all of the puzzles by Dominic and Le Corsaire at www.irishtimes.com/crosswords-puzzles. The explanations are embedded in the crosswords. You don’t have to complete the crossword online (you may prefer doing the printed version) but you can still click on the “Reveal Grid” option to see all of the answers and explanations.

We have also compiled a set of typical Crosaire cryptic clues illustrating each type of clue with an example – see here. There’s also a bit of general advice there for cryptic solvers.

We hope you enjoy the challenge and stimulation of Crosaire.

Happy solving!