Scotsman reader celebrates milestone 100th birthday with crossword dedication

A reader of The Scotsman and avid crossword fan has celebrated her milestone 100th birthday with a puzzle dedicated to her in her favourite newspaper.

Margaret McKie, from Edinburgh, celebrated her centennial birthday on Wednesday in her Craiglockhart home where she lives independently with her children.

Unfortunately, due to lockdown restrictions, Mrs McKie was unable to celebrate as normal with her five grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren apart from on Zoom. So to surprise her on the day, her favourite page in The Scotsman – Wednesday’s cryptic crossword – was dedicated to her special day.

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A staple in her lifetime since she was married, Mrs McKie has read The Scotsman for an incredible 70 years.

Margaret McKie would normally spend her birthday with her whole family, but on her 100th year lockdown measures meant she wasn't able to
Margaret McKie would normally spend her birthday with her whole family, but on her 100th year lockdown measures meant she wasn't able to

“I wouldn’t do without it,” said Mrs McKie, “Even when I was on holiday I had to go and find a copy.”

She has been living independently in her own home for the last 21 years since her husband Bill passed away and says she is incredibly lucky with the family she has.

She added: “I get so much help from my family, I wouldn’t be able to get on without them, I’m very lucky especially right now.”

Her daughter and son-in-law who were able to visit her surprised her with a cake

Her day was full of surprises as she was inundated with bouquets of flowers and had her daughter and son-in-law visiting when they presented her with The Scotsman crossword dedication.

“I was astounded at first,” she said, “It was one of many surprises and I thought ‘fame at last!’ I’ve never had anything like this in my life but I’ve never been 100 before.”

Over the years, Mrs McKie has had The Scotsman delivered every morning and said she thoroughly enjoys the letters pages and the puzzles.

She enjoys reading the paper from front to back while enjoying her second cup of tea before she starts on the puzzles.

As a surprise, her favourite newspaper The Scotsman, dedicated the crossword page to her which she completes every day

“I’m glad it’s Wednesday’s crossword because I can usually cope with that one, the one’s on Tuesday and Friday I struggle a bit with,” she said.

Mrs McKie was born in Edinburgh on January 13, 1921 and still resides in the capital today.

She worked as a civil servant at St Andrews House, where she met her husband, Bill (William) McKie. They married in 1947 and she retired when she had her first daughter in 1950.

Her most memorable moments throughout her life have been the births of her two children Margaret and Eileen, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Margaret's surprise was the cryptic crossword dedication

Upon her husband’s retirement from the civil service, Mrs McKie attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Holyrood in 1982 and also fondly remembers her travels to India where she visited the Taj Mahal at dawn.

While she had a fantastic time on her trip, experiencing the flavours of the world, she was delighted to return home as she was craving a favourite dish of plain mince after so much spice.

She also loved spending time in both Austria and Switzerland.

Her granddaughter Marion recalls memories with her Nana, including holidaying in Arran, sitting in the back seat of the car eating car sweets and singing along to Singing Kettle, endless games of Whot, Gin Rummy and New Market; being looked after by her when she was poorly and off school, her world-class melba toast and incredible drop scones.

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The crossword dedication was one of a series of surprises for her special birthday

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Although she wasn't able to see her five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, she hopes once restrictions lift they will all be able to celebrate together
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