Director Matt Houghton
Cinematographer John Craine
Production Company Pulse Films
Better known by his pseudonym Araucaria, John Graham set the Guardian cryptic crossword for 55 years. In December 2012, crossword number 25,842 appeared in the paper with a series of clues that once solved, revealed a personal message from Araucaria to his puzzle-solving followers. A puzzle in itself, this short film unpicks crossword number 25,842 to journey into John’s world of clue-making. Shifting between imagination and reality, Dear Araucaria meets the man who has given his life to crosswords and is only now coming to understand the dramatic impact he has had on a community of solvers.
Winner. Audience Award, Sheffield Doc Festival
Nominee, Best Documentary, London Short Film Festival
Nominee, Best Documentary, Kinsale Sharks
Official Selection HotDocs, AFI Docs, IDFA and numerous festivals worldwide.
“It blew us away, it’s an incredibly beautiful film.”
Charlotte Cook, Hot Docs