It was cryptic crosswords that led Conrad and I to get to know each other, and to that dark art, I am forever grateful. Eileen and I organised the first crossword enthusiast get-together in the Midlands in 2011 and I have just looked out Conrad’s reply to my general online invitation. It read: Hi Peter, I am a definite. Will have to let you know about Significant Other. Conrad.
Conrad came, which we subsequently learned was a journey outside his comfort zone. He was accosted on the way, and in the nicest possible way, by Eileen in the waiting room on Platform 2 of Leicester railway station, and joined a crowd of fifty other setters, bloggers and commenters. We never did get to see the Significant Other on that day, but of course did later meet Ali when we began our regular East Midlands Crossword Lunches with Chris and Lynette.
I’ve always enjoyed meeting and conversing with people with a wide range of interests – the sort of knowledge that’s sometimes positively described as ‘five miles wide and one foot deep’. Conrad had that kind of broad knowledge, but I can attest that it was a lot deeper than twelve inches. Conversation with him was never dull, but nor was he a know-it-all; brevity was more his trademark (together with some truly dreadful puns, which is probably why he was good at crosswords).
My life has been better for having met Conrad, and I will miss him a lot.