Bob Smithies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

For the Rugby League footballer see Robert Smithies

Robert (Bob) Smithies (4 April 1934 – 31 July 2006) was a photographer, journalist and crossword compiler. He was born in Middleton, near Rochdale, Lancashire.

Smithies began his career from school at the Manchester Evening News as a darkroom assistant, progressing to the post of photographer there and later at the Manchester Guardian.

Smithies joined Granada Television in the mid-1970s and presented a number of television programmes between then and 2005, including Down To Earth.[1]

Since his first cryptic crossword was accepted by The Guardian newspaper in 1966, Smithies was a regular compiler for the newspaper, under the pseudonym Bunthorne, the name taken from the leading character in the Gilbert and Sullivan light opera Patience.[1]

As a crossword setter his clues became known for requiring potentially obscure general knowledge, ranging from Austen and Dickens to French cheeses. One of his most famous clues was "Amundsen's forwarding address (4)" - (mush).[1]

Photography exhibitions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Martin Wainwright and Hugh Stephenson, "Obituary: Bob Smithies", The Guardian, 3 August 2006. Accessed 16 February 2013.
  2. ^ "The Lowry celebrates 100 years of Guardian photography", M&H News. Accessed 16 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Guardian photography exhibition extended", The Lowry, 24 February 2009. Accessed 16 February 2013.