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Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Workout Paperback – September 18, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz has appeared on Weekend Edition Sunday since the program's start in 1987. He's also the crossword editor of The New York Times, the former editor of Games magazine, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (since 1978).

Wei-Hwa Huang is an award-winning American puzzler and member of the U.S. Team for the World Puzzle Federation. Huang was a member of the United States International Math Olympiad team in 1992 and 1993, where he was awarded a Silver Medal both years. Huang was a Putnam Fellow in 1993 and has won the annual World Puzzle Championship on four occasions: 1995 and 1997–1999. He also won the 2008 Sudoku National Championship.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Footer Press (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934734527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934734520
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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After literally a decade of waiting, Will Shortz and the USPC gang finally release another World Puzzle Federation (WPF)-based logic puzzle book. I assume the general aim of the book is to welcome new comers to the field of WPF-style logic puzzles. The book begins with the Training section, containing puzzles written by Wei-Hwa Huang, these puzzles are for new comers to get the hang of new variants that they may be unfamiliar with.

Then you are presented with puzzles from the US National Championship, the actual test used to select the USA team members to the annual World Puzzle Championship (WPC). Lastly, puzzles from the actual World Championships are given. With a healthy number of hints, tips and full solutions, essentially this is like a guided handbook from starting out trying to solve a puzzle type, improve your skills at it, and then sending you off the actual WPC.

Every puzzle is given a `benchmark' or the solving time you are trying to aim for. There's the beginner's goal, the expert's goal and the record time displayed by the test solvers. I should mention here that the test solvers are a batch of world champions so expect to see a record time of something like 34 seconds for a puzzle that usually takes 10+ minutes.

Now you might be eager to know, what kind of puzzles do appear in this book. Although the list of logic puzzle types easily extends to over 100 or even 200, or even more including plays on variants, it is no surprise that a WPC participant may be exposed to over 100+ puzzle types in one sitting. That's not very welcoming for one who's starting out, so this book narrows that list down to just over 20 and includes some variants in the mix.
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This book is difficult, but not frustrating, and there are many puzzles that I've never seen anywhere else. I'm still not entirely sure how to do the "tapa" puzzles.
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When you get a great review from Ed Peg, what more can I say. I just want to add that my copy of the book contains a printing error. Page 166 of the solutions is missing. I'll be trying to track it down online and will follow up if successful.
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