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Random House Guide to Cryptic Crosswords (Other) Paperback – June 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Other
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Puzzles & Games (June 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812935454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812935455
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,295,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A comprehensive "how-to" manual to introduce beginners to the world of cryptic crosswords, as well as a collection of the best of Cox & Rathvon's puzzles from Atlantic Monthly -- published here in book form for the first time. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

EMILY COX & HENRY RATHVON create half of the Sunday crosswords for The Boston Globe (alternating with Henry Hook) and all of the acrostics for The New York Times.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1996
Format: Paperback
The American crosswording public is largely unfamiliar with
the cryptic crossword, and are baffled when one turns up.
No more! Cox and Rathvon introduce us to this clever and
entertaining form of wordplay, taking a very effective
phased approach, teaching us the tricks one by one until
we're ready to set off on our own.
The book also includes eight practice puzzles and 65 full-sized
puzzles, graded by difficulty.
Anyone who loves word games will want this book. But beware! You'll become hooked
on cryptic crosswords; don't say I didn't warn you!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Honorable Mensch on June 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the book that got me started on cryptic puzzles. I had read various free pamphlets offered by newspapers and magazines that ran British cryptics and I had looked at online guides. It didn't all come together until I worked through this book. One nice thing is that, in addition to explaining the various types of clues and how to solve them, the authors provide lots of progressively more difficult practice puzzles that slowly but surely get you into the whole cryptic puzzle mindset.

One minor drawback... This book may not completely prepare you for the difficulty of The Times of London puzzle and other British cryptics. Perhaps the authors could do a follow up volume that would prepare Americans for a few of the eccentricities of British puzzles?

Still, this is the best introduction to cryptics I have encountered. Warning: Once you learn how to do the cryptics, traditional puzzles, even challenging New York Times puzzles, may seem a little dull.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Rieback on December 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
For those of you who are getting bored with conventional crossword puzzles and want to try something different, try a cryptic crossword. It combines the grid and clues of a regular crossword with a bit of wordplay to make it tougher and more interesting. This book provides excellent instructions on how to solve one, with plenty of examples and 8 warm-up puzzles. Next come 15 standard block cryptic puzzles for you to practice on. Then comes the type of cryptic puzzle that Cox and Rathvon are known for: their variety cryptics. These puzzles have a extra twist to them, such as missing clues or grid letters, words changing direction or position in the grid, modified letters, and other devilish permutations to keep you on your toes. These 50 variety cryptics are taken from the pages of the Atlantic Monthly. Finally, Cox and Rathvon provide a couple of chapters on the rules and strategies for creating your own cryptic puzzles.
Once you get the hang of it, solving cryptics is like eating potato chips... you simply can't stop. So you will be happy to know that there is a companion book to this one, called "Atlantic Monthly Cryptic Crosswords," that picks up where this one leaves off and provides another 45 devilishly difficult variety cryptics for you to enjoy.
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