Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The New York Times Ferocious Crosswords: 150 Hard Puzzles (New York Times Crossword Puzzles)
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VINE VOICEon July 12, 2009
This book of 150 New York Times reprints seems like a selected group of the harder Friday and Saturday puzzles. My usual solving times are 20 minutes for Friday and 30 minutes for Saturday, but these are taking me longer, more like 45 minutes. (I'm no champion solver but I'm not bad either.) My only objection is that some of the puzzles use too many proper names and obscure trivia, at times grouped in a single area making success without reference books much harder (shades of Maleska, but these are all Shortz-era puzzles).

Definitely well worth buying if you haven't been solving the Times every day for the last five years. (If you have been a regular solver then these puzzles will not be new to you.)
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on February 17, 2010
I've enjoyed crossword puzzles for years, but until I bought this book I hadn't done many New York Times crossword puzzles, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Having now attempted about a third of the puzzles, my verdict is that these are very challenging and very fun. Especially at the discounted price that Amazon is currently offering, I think a fan of hard crosswords would be foolish not to buy this book.

The key thing to know is that these crossword puzzles aren't hard because they contain obscure jargon that even well-educated people are unlikely to know. They're hard because they have ambiguous clues that sometimes come close to being "daffynitions". They're hard because the answers tend to have lots of letters. They're hard because you're not told when the answer is a phrase instead of a single word. For these reasons, when I'm defeated by one of these puzzles, I feel like I've lost fair and square.

It's too bad that these puzzles are printed small, on somewhat porous paper, and with an inconvenient binding. I make up for the binding by ripping the pages out and working them on a clipboard. The paper isn't so bad that I can't use a good felt-tip pen like Staedtler triplus fineliners, but I have to be a little gentle. As for the print size, I'm tempted to scan them and work the enlargements, but so far that seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth. Even with these issues, there is no question that this is a 5-star item.
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on November 4, 2009
These puzzles are very challenging but not (yet)impossible. Every one is a workout. They also seem to be fairly recent--not based on current events from the 40s and 50s. My only objection is to the binding. I would prefer a spiral that I could fold flat.
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on October 4, 2009
It's been a long time since I've had any trouble doing a crossword puzzle, and I usually have to make rules for myself to slow myself down. These puzzles are refreshingly difficult. In part, for me, the difficulty lies in the pop culture references with which I am unfamiliar, but it's also due to the oddness and obscurity of both clues and answers. Not unfairly so, but unusual. I am very much enjoying these puzzles--I even make mistakes that I have to correct as I solve. What fun!
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on March 27, 2013
I did not realize the book was so small. The print is too hard for me to read comfortably long enough to finish a puzzle. Wish it was a bigger publication. It will go on the shelf to be pulled out now and again I suppose.
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on May 24, 2014
It's hard to tell the difference between crossword puzzle books called hard, difficult, fierce, ferocious, etc. I found this one to be more difficult than the others, which was what I wanted. And the Will Shortz puzzles are my favorites.
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on October 27, 2015
This is for the masochistic crossword fan, who enjoys pondering fruitlessly for hours and feels utter elation when a seemingly impossible puzzle has been conquered.
They are, indeed, ferocious, and I love it.
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on October 12, 2009
I am on Crossword #49 and have fully completed only two so far. I will go back and try again before peeking at some of the answers. If you think you are good at crosswords like the Sunday New York Times puzzle, try this book. I consider myself in the excellent category in solving crosswords. This book makes me think again. But I love the challenge. I'm thinking if I complete 10 out of 150 I'm doing good but I'm not giving up until I try each one at least five times. I dare you to try it.
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on November 7, 2012
I absolutely love a good challenge when doing crosswords, and this book brought it all! When I was able to solve the whole puzzle with no errors I felt so good! The clues are tricky, and that's what makes a good puzzle after all. I would love to see more and more books like this one, it kept me entertained for a long time.
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on March 17, 2012
Finding the really tough puzzles is...really tough. This one passes the test, according to my puzzling spouse. As is frequently the case, there are reissues of earlier puzzles as new puzzle books are published. After reading the reviews on this book, we determined that the puzzles were far enough back that my husband was unlikely to recognize or remember any of them. And that has been the case. He's enjoying the book.
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