Crossword compiler smuggles blunt anti-Brexit message into his puzzle

A crossword compiler has played a cryptic joke on Boris Johnson – smuggling a blunt Brexit message into his puzzle.

Fans of the Guardian's daily crossword were surprised to see 'Bollocks to Brexit' splayed across the brainteaser today.

The message was spelt out across the top and bottom of the puzzle once readers solved 16 separate cryptic clues.

Today's crossword was set by Philistine – a pseudonym for full-time NHS heart surgeon Samer Nashef, who has spent more than 20 years at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

It comes just hours after the government's Operation Yellowhammer planning confirmed a no-deal Brexit could lead to shortages of medicine.

Previous profiles reveal Dr Nashef, who also wrote a book, The Naked Surgeon, began setting occasional puzzles for the newspaper in 2011 after getting the bug while he studied for his degree.

The 'Bollocks to Brexit' message is the same one adopted by the Lib Dems in this year's EU election campiagn.

Spotted by the Mirror's crossword-loving Head of Politics Jason Beattie, it is part of a long tradition of secret messages slipped into puzzles.

Sometimes, however, these messages are simply a coincidence.

MI5 even investigated the Daily Telegraph's crosswords in 1944 after they happened to print a series of codewords connected with the D-Day landings.

Intelligence officer Lord Tweedsmuir was called in for an "immediate and exhaustive inquiry" into whether the puzzles were passing messages to Germany.

But he is later quoted as saying: "In the end it was concluded that it was just a remarkable coincidence – a complete fluke."

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