Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Enjoyable but erratic in difficulty
on March 1, 2012
As those familiar with NYT know, Wednesday puzzles feature all kinds of clever twists, word plays, spelling variants, numbers as characters, and such things. The puzzles in this volume fall into that category.
I'm giving the volume 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 for one reason: I find that the puzzles vary dramatically in difficulty. Some of them are almost like Monday or Tuesday puzzles and I can complete them almost straight through in ink. This is often because there is an obvious theme that reveals many answers once it is glimpsed.
But other puzzeles are extremely difficult (for me), more like late week puzzles that have obscure references to things like minor people from decades ago, often further obscured by indirection or pun. The good thing, I suppose, is that the volume is not uniform but stretches your abilities. Unfortunately much of the stretching feels to me more like random tidbits rather than systematic progress. It is somewhat dispiriting to do one puzzle well and then fail abysmally on the next one.
As for the print, I like the soft cover (as opposed to spiral) newsprint style -- yes, you have to fold the cover back which is a pain. But it makes the volume extremely light and packable to take on the go.