PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

Crosswords Part 3, Alan Cracknell and Glenn Steward.

PART 3 of the crossword book collection focusses on those from the late 1960s which now have SBNs. The design of these covers is the same as the later ones with PANs eclectic numbering system. A few are proving to be elusive so once again if you have a spare copy or can let me have a scan I would love to add it to the page.

I was pleased to receive a letter from Evelyn Cracknell, artist Alan’s wife, to let me know a book entitled ‘An Enchanted Eye : The Art of Alan Cracknell’ was now available. I used to sort of be Alan’s agent as he didn’t email and, as I have mentioned Alan Cracknell on my site, people emailed me so I would phone him to ask if he wanted to make contact. He was a lovely man and we had long conversations over the phone. The book is £22.99 plus £5 p&p and is available from Boscobel Books. If you are interested then email to contact Bruce Edwards, the author, for more details.

I do like to collect artwork by Glenn Steward and just wish I could find out more about him apart from he was an enthusiastic cyclist. My latest acquisition is the PAN cover artwork for ‘Cabbage Holiday’ by Anthony Thorne. PAN also published ‘Young Man on a Dolphin’ by him. I also acquired another non PAN cover by Glenn Steward and what is annoying is that when I first saw it a while ago I did a reverse image search and got the title. Now that no longer finds so I posted on several appropriate Facebook page and, sorry to say, just got silly answers. Here it is so if anyone can help please get in touch.

Sorry if anyone got a message this morning when they looked at this blog. I’ve been meaning to update the version of WordPress for a long time and it went smoothly. I then decided up update the PHP data base from 7.4 to 8.1 which promptly crashed the blog. I had this happen before but I though as it was a later version of WordPress it would be worth a try. No problem I thought, I’ll just switch back to 7.4 like last time but it was no longer on the list as an option. Luckily a message to my hosting site managed it for me so we are back up and running but if anyone knows enough to sort the problem please get in touch.

Crosswords Part 2, A Couple of Misses and June ’69 New Titles List

As promised last week here is the link to PART 2 of the PAN crossword books series. This time it’s for the junior titles which also includes Piccolo titles of which the first 8 are reprints of the PAN editions but the later 4 are original. It was while scanning the Piccolo covers I noticed that the layout of number 9 is odd in that it reverts to that of the first printing of number 1. I’ve also included the 3 ‘bumper’ editions with each having selections from the previous PAN/Piccolo titles. As you’ll see from the lists on the page I am a few titles short in this series including the elusive X705 so as usual if you can help please email me.

Last week I heard from Stuart Webb who let me know he had recently managed to acquire an original cover by J. Oval (Ben Ostrick) on eBay The seller had two but one had sold on the 29th October while Stuart purchased his on the 2nd November. They were both for Heyer titles but I was left wondering how I missed them but on looking at the dates I realise we had the family from Kent visiting that week as it was half term and I am ‘banned’ from the computer for the duration (I do sneak looks on my phone!) Congratulations to Stuart and the A N Other as they are very nice buys.

Here is the last of my current batch of New Titles Lists for June 1969. Once again it is in ‘glorious’ colour (who thought this was a good idea?) especially as it shows a Bond white cover in maroon.

Crosswords Part 1, New Titles List February ’70, Josephine Tey and How Long!!!!

As promised I am starting to rescan the front and back covers of all my crossword books I currently have, from the 1950s up to the 80s. I have split them into four parts to use over this and the next three weeks. I will say the earlier ones had a lot more going for them but some of the colour combinations of the later ones are not bad. Today it is PART 1 with the crossword books having PAN’s eclectic numbers. If you see any gaps and find you have a spare copy or can scan the missing covers please let me know so we can make the pages as complete as possible.

This time it’s the new titles list for the 6th February 1970. There seems to be, sadly, fewer and fewer painted covers and more photos as time goes by but it does have Wilbur Smith titles on the front. I’m  pleased to say I do have some of Hans Helweg’s roughs for these covers but I would really to know where the  finished originals ended up. It does have the usual six pages plus a double sided stock list and this time a flyer for ‘Incident of Hill 192’

I don’t know how Jules Burt finds the time to produce his excellent videos bur very pleased he does. Click on the image to see a recent one featuring Josephine Tey with covers from PAN and other publishers.

While looking for PAN crossword books I came across the jumbo series by Mike Grimshaw and was pleased to find a copy of Book 4 on Amazon with fast delivery included in my Prime account, goodness knows how long it might have been otherwise!

Earrings, Crosswords and New Titles List December 1969

I couldn’t resist buying a pair of clip on earrings on Etsy as they featured a couple of covers of Georgette Heyer titles. One had the cover of The Corinthian’ and the other ‘Regency Buck’ There was also nice surprise of a bonus of a pin badge of ‘The Corinthian I have tried them on but they begin to pinch after a while but might try wearing the pin badge as see if any one notices.

Jules Burt has recently shared another of his fantastic videos and this time it is for his collection of crossword books with 90% being for Penguin and others from PAN etc. Click on the image above to view it. This has prompted me to get my PANs and Piccolo’s off the shelves and rescan them. I will also take a leaf out of Jules book by separating them out into parts for one a week starting next blog.. The first will be the numbered series, then the junior series, the ISBNs up to 1971 and then the later ones. I don’t have them all so if you see any you can help with please let me know especially if its X705 ‘Junior Crosswords Book 3’ compiled by Robin Burgess which gets a mention is Jules video – thanks Jules. Jules also asked if anyone knew anything about L W Burgess so I set Chat and Bard a challenge. Chat didn’t offer anything new but Bard came up with this, as to it accuracy, I’ll need to do some more investigation.
L.W. Burgess, also known as L.W. Burgess-Smith, was born in 1925. He was a prolific crossword compiler and published over 200 crossword books in his lifetime. His books were known for their challenging but fair puzzles, and for their wide range of clues. Burgess also contributed to several crossword magazines, including The Listener and Crossword Times. He also compiled crosswords for newspapers and other publications. Burgess died in 1989 at the age of 64.
I then asked about Robin Burgess and it said;
Robin Burgess was born in England in 1917. He was a prolific crossword compiler and published over 200 crossword books in his lifetime. His books were popular with both children and adults and were known for their fun and challenging puzzles. Burgess also contributed to several crossword magazines and newspapers throughout his career. He was a member of the British Crossword Society and served as its President from 1973 to 1975. Burgess died in England in 1982 at the age of 65.
I asked if they were related but Bard admitted it would need more information to offer an opinion. The British Crossword Society mentioned was founded in 1926 and ceased trading in 2016. It was one of the oldest crossword societies in the world. It published a monthly magazine, The Crossworder’, which featured crosswords from some of the top compilers in the UK. The BCS also organized crossword competitions and events throughout the year.
Finally I then asked about L W Burgess-Smith, crossword compiler and got a slightly different answer!
L. W. Burgess-Smith was a crossword compiler who contributed crosswords to various publications, including The Times, The Guardian, and The Sunday Telegraph. He was known for his challenging and creative puzzles, which often featured unusual themes and wordplay. Burgess-Smith began compiling crosswords in the 1970s, and his puzzles quickly became popular with solvers for their difficulty and ingenuity. He was also a regular contributor to crossword magazines, and he wrote several books on crosswords, including ‘The Art of Crossword Compiling’ and ‘Crosswords: The Ultimate Guide’ Burgess-Smith died in 2014, but his legacy as one of the most respected crossword compilers of his generation lives on. His puzzles continue to be published in newspapers and magazines around the world, and they continue to challenge and entertain solvers of all skill levels.

Once again the new titles list for December 1969 consists of a six page publication plus the double sided stock list but no separate flyer this time. Click on the image above to view it. I was particularly interested in this one as the cover features ‘Christy’ by Catherine Marshall with artwork by Hans Helweg which I have it in my library. Again the artwork on the supporting material is different to the cover but unlike others I’ve mentioned it was not used for any later edition. It also feature ‘Catherine and Arnaud’ another Hans cover I have plus a Hornblower I don’t have but I do have another David Tayler in the same series. It also lists the ‘The Sixteenth PAN Book of Crossword Puzzles’