Kate Middleton has shown off her skill as a cruciverbalist – someone who enjoys and is skilled at crossword-solving – in a surprise encounter with a stumped student.

The duchess was waved down during a royal visit to the University of Glasgow by 21-year-old Jack Baird, with a newspaper in hand and the hope that she could help him solve a tricky royal-related question, according to the Times.

The statistics undergraduate told the Times he was stuck on “seven down”, which asked for two words for the “sovereign’s annual allowance”.

“I couldn’t get the second word. I gave it to Kate and asked her as I’m sure she would have known,” Baird later told the newspaper.

After he handed her the paper, which was May 8’s edition of the Times, Kate told him the answer: ‘Civil List’.

“She was very excited,” Baird continued. “It didn’t look like she was going to get it for a moment.”

“She looked thrilled. I think she thought, ‘I wouldn’t live this down if I get this wrong’.”

The student said he was “so chuffed” and would frame the page containing the non-cryptic Jumbo Crossword.

He explained that the interaction was totally spontaneous and that he didn’t even know the royal couple would be on campus.

“I’d been studying in the library for exams and saw a group of people out here and wondered what was going on,” he said.

The Duke and Duchess had come to the university to meet with students and professors to discuss mental health support, especially during COVID-19 and exam periods.

In fact, they attracted such a large crowd of students that they later took to Twitter to apologise for not meeting them all.

“So many students! Sorry if we missed you,” they wrote on their official Kensington Royal Twitter account, shared alongside a clip of them chatting with the crowd.

In another post, the couple shared a series of photos of themselves sitting with students and faculty to discuss mental health.

“Exam season can be a challenging time for students of all ages,” the tweet read.

“The support offered by universities, as well as the understanding and empathy of its students, has given us a real insight to the importance & value of talking about mental wellbeing #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.”

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.