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Adventures in Puzzling: Multi-Puzzle Extravaganzas for the Brave, Bold & Bright Spiral-bound – February 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patrick Berry's puzzles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications.

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Puzzlewright; Csm Spi edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402759835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402759833
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Riccio on February 4, 2011
Verified Purchase
I tried to anagram the title of the book to make the title of this review, and this was the best I could do: Sizzling rave, upend nut? I tried because Patrick Berry, the extraordinary puzzle-maker behind "Adventures in Puzzling," makes such word play seem easy. In this collection of 54 variety puzzles, grouped into seven linked sets (in which the first eight puzzles help to solve the ninth), he has you translating alien speech ("Communication Breakdown"), traveling through pyramid mazes ("Large as Life"), traveling up a perilous mountain ("Upwords and Downwords"), completing the floor plans for the sad citizens of Squaresville (the excellent "T Squares"), and much, much more.

Even if you've been a subscriber to Games magazine for years, even if you've been on a puzzle hunt or two, you're still bound to come across something you haven't seen before, and while those who solve the WSJ's Second Saturday puzzles will quickly recognize Berry's innovative grid puzzles (like "In Boxes"), they'll nonetheless be bowled over by his incredibly tricky logic puzzles, which range from reconstructing games of Hangman with a pack of angry yetis to sussing out the winner of a game of five-card draw in which nobody knows how to play.

The pacing between puzzles is also well-planned: the one real stumper in every set of puzzles is always surrounded by a few that can be cracked with trial-and-error, persistence, or a nifty aha-moment. But even the easier challenges, like a word-search ("Foursquare"), have a trick or two up their sleeve. It's enough that I haven't wanted to put this book down since it arrived -- but also haven't been able to, yet, since I'm still working on more than a few challenges.

Bottom line? If you like variety puzzles -- i.e., something more than the average crossword, logic puzzle, word game -- then you have to go adventuring with Berry's book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By My Fake Name on March 3, 2011
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I haven't finished this book of puzzles, but I can already tell you it's a remarkable accomplishment. There's a grand theme that takes you from one type of puzzle to another, with such a variety as I have never seen. I'm not sure, but I'd guess that some of the puzzle types are unique to Patrick Berry, and they are certainly all unique to the grand theme, with lesser themes tying it all together.

For example, on one page you might need to solve not one but two or even three individual puzzles, the final solution of which is required to solve some later puzzle, which is itself required to solve yet another puzzle.

You will certainly be impressed with how hard Mr. Berry must have worked to put this all together and make it mesh so well. He had to start at the end and then work backwards, and then work backwards again, and then work backwards again. Altogether the puzzles and their explanations take you on a sort of science fiction adventure (hence the title) in which you, the solver, are the hero.

I would gladly have paid twice, even three times what I did for this collection.

Update of July 29, 2011: I have played several more of the puzzles in this collection, and I hereby reiterate how much fun they are and how much I admire Berry's effort. I'm not sure anything like this has ever been done before, but if it has I'm pretty sure it has never been done better.
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By Reis on May 31, 2012
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This is an excellent collection of puzzles. I was constantly wowed by the innovative puzzles that I had never seen anything like throughout and it was a delight to go through and face Mr. Berry's challenges. I highly recommend this book to any puzzle lover who wants to see something they have not seen before.

Why 4 stars? There is but a single frustrating flaw with the book - the second-to-last puzzle has a serious issue. Stop reading here if you don't want to know what the issue is...

The second-to-last puzzle is another excellent, innovative, and in this case, darkly humorous puzzle design. Unfortunately, of the 4 iterations presented here, one iteration is unsolvable (the solution in the back breaks one of the rules of the puzzle) and at least one other iteration has multiple solutions (which can impact the final puzzle of the storyline). One could argue that there is indeed only one solution to this iteration since the letters provided can be used to create a word that doesn't fit into the final puzzle of the chapter, but checking your answer against the final puzzle is not something that needs to be done elsewhere in the book.

Despite this misstep, this is a fine, fine collection of puzzles that is well worth your time and money. I highly recommend it.
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I found this puzzle book in a little shop off Coolidge Corner in Boston, and I can't recall being so happy with a purchase in a very long while. I'm about halfway finished with the book (meaning I've started about two thirds of the puzzles and finished about half of those) and the amount of wit and inventiveness in every single puzzle is astonishing.

The level of care and creativity in each puzzle is breath taking and they're all so different, from crossword-cousins, to mathematical logic puzzles, to brain bending figure-out-the-logic-behind-this puzzles. Each page is a new joy; a new treasure. And while I'm obviously a puzzle fan, I'd definitely consider myself an "average" puzzle solver. I don't do daily crosswords but I subscribe to GAMES. I'd say that with each puzzle, if I keep plugging away at it I eventually get it. Or at least I'm always able to intuit the mystery word hidden inside every puzzle, even if there are some ornery answers I just can't quite scratch out. So while they're definitely challenging, I also think that on average every puzzle is "get"able, with enough patience and thought.

Again, I cannot highly recommend this book enough. When I'm finished with this I want to go out and find other books by the same author. What a find!
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