I've done it! 2013 has come and gone, and I managed to solve 2580 cryptic clues! See www.danielpeake.com for more details!
I am trying to solve 2500 crossword clues from the weekday Guardian crosswords this year (2013). There will be about 7500 clues in total, and this is at the upper end of my solving ability. Not to mention... there will be periods where I'm able to invest more times in solving and periods where I won't be able to solve. It is a massive challenge!
What I'm asking you to do is to pledge that you will donate 1p per clue I solve, which should be £25 throughout the year. JUST ONE PENNY PER CLUE. If you're feeling extravagant, make it 2p!
I will update my progress most days on a Google Doc so that you can see how many clues I am solving every day. You can view the spreadsheet at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvH9W6C-9XHRdE8tZnRmSXRTekVZbUpaRWhzN0tyTVE#gid=0
I'm solving the clues for Rethink, the mental health charity, for several reasons. Firstly, people who solve puzzles and crosswords are likely to retain better mental health as they grow older - making this a fitting charity for this challenge. Secondly, Rethink provide support for people who suffer from a wide range of mental health issues, and also promote research into the underlying causes and new therapies to deal with them.
Thirdly, and most importantly in my case, I have had mental health issues in the past - and the taboo surrounding them is large. I would like to raise awareness for the fact that depression, from which I have suffered for several years, affects a wide range of people and can have a crippling impact on their lives and I should know. It's not just "I feel a bit sad", it alters your sleeping pattern, how much you eat, your energy levels and even the rate at which you speak.
I refused to get help for over a year before I finally saw a doctor about it - and I'm still not recovered yet. But I'm getting there, I want to say to people that being depressed is nothing to be ashamed about.
So that's why I'm solving 2500 clues in 2013, to raise money for Rethink. I want to help break through the taboo of mental health, and prove that we're not "crazy" as people think. Given an estimated 1 in 4 people suffer from depression during their lifetime, how to keep mentally well needs to be talked about more often.
You can donate immediately on this page. To pledge, let me know via twitter, @danielpeake, and how many pence per clue you'd like to pledge, and I'll add you to the list of pledgers (also viewable on the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvH9W6C-9XHRdE8tZnRmSXRTekVZbUpaRWhzN0tyTVE#gid=2 )
I will update all the pledgers on my progress every month and will update them every time I reach another 500 clues. To be put on the mailing list, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.