Buy Used
$3.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This book has already been well loved by someone else and that love shows. It MIGHT have highlighting, underlining, be missing a dust jacket, or SLIGHT water damage, but over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Crossword Obsession: The History and Lore of the World's Most Popular Pastime Hardcover – October 1, 2001


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$1.95 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
12 Days of Kindle Book Deals
Load your library with Amazon's editors' picks, $2.99 or less each today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042518157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425181577
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,179,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Coral Amende is a veteran puzzle constructor whose crosswords and original word games have been featured in The New York Times (yes, the Sunday Edition), The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Magazine, where she has been a puzzle creator and editor since 1993. She is the author of the Random House Famous Name Finder, Hollywood Confidential, Country Confidential, and Rock Confidential, If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say....Come Sit Next to Me, and the RPG Game Collection.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By stellavision on October 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For those who merely dabble in cruciverbalism, this book is best left on the shelf. But for those who've done enough crosswords to know Cathy Millhauser from Nancy Salomon, Merl Reagle from Rich Norris, and especially for the budding constructor, "The Crossword Obsession" is a must-have. Constructors and editors from Will Shortz to Trip Payne to Merl Reagle discuss what they love about crosswords, the favorite themes they've done, editors of the past, and more. Though only one chapter is actually labeled as one on tips for constructors, the entire book -- with the exception of the first few pages, which tell the fascinating history of crosswords -- is a mine of ideas and information for aspiring crossword constructors. Those who are hoping for deep insight into just *why* crosswords are such a popular phenomenon -- after all, why do we solvers enjoy frustration so much as to want to do it again? -- will be disappointed. Those who are fascinated with the business of creating and solving crosswords and wonder how it's done will be more than satisfied.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Carol C. VINE VOICE on January 7, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wouldn't call this book particularly well written. There's some history, but the book doesn't provide a long, captivating narrative of the development of the puzzle, or a psychoanalysis of the folks who become addicted to their daily puzzle. Rather, the book is more or less a collection of comments and insight from many of the creators of currently-published crosswords -- how they got into puzzle creation, how they sold their first puzzle, how long it takes them to solve the Sunday NY Times puzzle, etc. The book is behind-the-scenes reality show on crossword puzzles. After reading it, you'll have a good sense of how puzzles are created, how they are edited, what makes a puzzle good, what makes a puzzle bad (or unpublishable), and how the daily crossword puzzle ends up as a final product in your morning newspaper. You'll learn about the preferences of different editors (now I finally know why my collections of NY Times crosswords edited by Will Shortz are SO MUCH MORE FUN TO SOLVE than the NY Times crosswords edited by Eugene Maleska). You'll learn about the evils of "crosswordese" (if you're reading this -- you know what I'm talking about -- words like etui). The book contains biographical shorts of the various crossworders who contributed -- they come from varied backgrounds, from Will Shortz, who majored in crossword puzzles in college (seriously) to dentists and physical therapists and lawyers who got sucked in by their hobby. The book also contains some very good puzzles and their solutions -- though I wouldn't recommend this book if your only interest in in solving puzzles. Overall, a great selection if you want to get to know the clever people and the detailed process that deliver crossword puzzles to the rest of us -- it may be of limited interest to anyone else.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Torturous. Not only is this book not for the crossword dillettante, it should be a disappointment to the hardcore solver whose only delight perhaps might come from seeing his friends' names in print.
A haphazardly constructed tome, "Crossword Collection" is little more than transcribed interviews with the crossword world's major players and reads like a book in search of an editor. It's as if Amende did all the research for the book and then chose not to write one. There's something to be said for letting the people interviewed speak for themselves, but a little editing is in order as quote after quote after quote sucks the life out what must be an interesting group of people.
There's something disappointing when a good idea for a book is poorly executed. For a well-written, humorous look at a similar world, stick to "Word Freak," Fatsis' book about competitive Scrabble.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Caution: This book contains coarse words that would never appear in The New York Times crossword puzzle.
Most people who occasionally do crossword puzzles are bound to have certain questions such as:
(1) How are the puzzles constructed?
(2) What do editors do with puzzles submitted to them?
(3) What were the famous puzzle editors like in person?
(4) What do the best puzzle solvers do to make faster progress?
(5) How to solvers prepare for contests?
(6) What reference books do constructors and the best solvers use?
(7) What are the most common short words used in puzzles?
(8) How should unusual clues be interpreted?
(9) How should I attack unusual puzzles?
Those who have wanted to know more about these and many other interesting questions will find many interesting answers from a variety of perspectives in this multifaceted book.
The book contains a fine combination of history, profiles, interviews, answers to common questions by many experts, and perspectives on a variety of crossword puzzles. In addition, you will be pleased to know that the book also provides a number of puzzles and answers to entertain you. For some of the famous puzzles, there are also comments about the puzzle by the constructor.
My favorite part was the section on how to construct puzzles, with many references to computer programs and on-line resources to help. I have always wanted to try my hand at a puzzle, and this shows me the basic elements. I'm sure it will be very difficult, but personally rewarding.
You will also find a good appendix on various resources, suggested readings, a glossary, a brief summary of factoids about words that appear frequently, and biographies and photographs of constructors and editors.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?