Phil Sayles is a lifelong crossword puzzle fan. He compiled this list of challenging puzzle clues over a period of several years. He is a retired medical administrator, master cabinetmaker, and gardener who lives in South Carolina with his shi tzu, Sandy.
This first edition of what may be a one of a kind crossword puzzle dictionary contains approximately one hundred forty-four thousand words that make up approximately forty-three thousand crossword phrases and some more commonly used single words. These entries have been compiled over a period of ten to twelve years dating back to the late nineties. This all started as a reference for the author's personal use and not with any intent to creating a new and different crossword dictionary, at least not at the onset. Initially, I kept a small notebook and, as it grew, I transferred it to the computer; ultimately, it has grown into a two hundred and twenty plus page dictionary of crossword phrases. This is something that is new and different to the crossword world. The usual crossword dictionary deals as a reference for single word clues, but to my knowledge, none concentrate on crossword phrases in the manner that this book does.This book is for the astute cruciverbalist (someone who enjoys or creates crossword puzzles) who is determined to complete each and every crossword puzzle.
This reference will be useful to the novice and the expert alike. Novices will use the resource frequently as they cut their teeth on increasingly more challenging puzzles. More experienced cruciverbalists will use the book to find a single answer that provides the breakthrough to fill in that last unsolved corner where "Kampuchea coin" intersects with "River in southwest Zimbabwe." Hopefully, this reference will allow all users to move up the ladder of crossword difficulty that makes our shared addiction so enjoyable.
Many of the phrase clues have been entered once as it was originally written in the crossword puzzle and a second time with the noun or verb being listed first in alphabetical order. Example:
Within a stone's throw: near
Stone's throw, within a: near
Public hall: lyceum
Hall, public: lyceum
The purpose was to make it possible to find a particular clue regardless of how the phrase would be worded in a given crossword puzzle. To make searching easier, concentrate on looking up the phrase as it is written; then if that fails, search using the second option.
There will be instances wherein you may not find the exact answer you are looking for, but your search may give you a hint as to what the correct answer may be.
My initial intent was to confine this dictionary to crossword phrases (clues), but as time went on, I started adding the more commonly used single-word clues, which minimizes the need to reference a second dictionary.
Anyone who is familiar with crossword puzzles has experienced the use of words that have had the spelling skewed to fit the puzzle. I included some misspelled entries, along with the correct spelling, especially if the misspelled word occurred on more than one occasion.
Throughout the dictionary, you will find a two-or-more-word phrase with one word underlined and no apparent answer. The underlined word within the phrase is the answer you are looking for. Example:
Clue: holly __________
Answer: holly wreath
Clue: seventh _______ stretch
Answer: seventh inning stretch
You will also find multiple-word phrases with no underlined word(s) or accompanying answers and in these instances the answer lies with any one or more of the words within the phrase depending upon a given crossword puzzle.The same applies with the names of persons throughout the dictionary in that either the first or last name may be the answer you are looking for.
References to foreign issues are common in today's crossword puzzles. The more common languages and locations referenced are Africa, British, English, French, France, German, Greek, Italian, India, Indian, Spain, and Russia. In these instances, you will find that many clues making reference to these foreign places will be listed under their respective headings, and for the most part, there will not be a second listing elsewhere, regardless of how the phrase is worded.
Other common headings are dance, fabric, goddess, music/musical, mythical Norse, Polynesian, rivers, Shakespearean, Spanish, wines, and many more. Again, entries under these headings (and others) will most likely not be found elsewhere in the dictionary.
Tips for solving crossword puzzles
The book has different format than I'm used to seeing. It has a section which you have a definition as your clue which requires the word that matches that you can look in this... Read morePublished 21 months ago by M. Baldwin
I don't see what is so 'ultimate' about this book. Looks like it was thrown together in a few days. Read morePublished on August 17, 2010 by Michael S.
I have recently become an avid crossword Puzzler...I retired and work on the daily newspaper puzzleand I love it. Read morePublished on August 14, 2010 by Sunshine
I purchased this thinking that it would be a big help with all the foreign phrases that are so prevalent in the harder puzzles but there are none of those in this publication. Read morePublished on July 29, 2010 by James Pines
Excellent purchase. I could not find an equivalent here in Australia through the normal outlets. I found a wealth of information in this book and would highly recommend it. Read morePublished on February 6, 2010 by Robyn D. Farrar