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100 Years, 100 Crosswords: Celebrating the Crossword’s Centennial Spiral-bound – November 6, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Gordon is the Editorial Director of Puzzlewright Press. His crosswords have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsday, and numerous puzzle magazines, including Games, where he was an editor for seven years. Gordon was a member of the winning US teams at the 1990 International Crossword Marathon in Bjelovar, Yugoslavia. His titles include Hall of Fame Crosswords, Yahtzee Scratch & Play, Match Wits With Mensa: Test Your Trivia Smarts, and Verbiage for the Verbose; he is also the coauthor of Solitaire Battleships, Scrabble-doku, and the Puzzlewright Guide to Solving Sudoku. He writes a weekly current-events crossword for The Week.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Spiral-bound: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puzzlewright; Spi edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402796390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402796395
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By PuzzleMAT on November 20, 2012
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Actually the book contains 101 puzzles. First up, is the 1913 puzzle that made history by Arthur Wynne (which is regarded as the world's first crossword). The next 100 puzzles that follow celebrate the crossword's centennial.

The 100 puzzles are divided into ten chapters of ten puzzles. Each chapter is divided into ten years and contains themes that are related to an important event in that timeframe. So after the first puzzle, the first chapter is 1913-1922, then 1922-1932 and so on all the way to 2003-2012.

Three random themes from the book:
-There's a puzzle devoted to the 1953 proposed description of DNA's structure.
-Premiere of `The Simpsons' in 1989
And the more recent stock market crash in 2000.
There are a lot of gimmicks throughout the book (think Thursday NYT crosswords).

The puzzles are written by well-known crossword names: Elizabeth Long, Brendan Emmett Quigley and Patrick Blindauer... to name a few. The 100 puzzles are never-before published and I would say the difficulty lingers around the Wednesday-Thursday NYT mark, experiences may vary.
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The clues are very wide ranging and some of the puzzles are not easily figured. Some squares require more than one letter per box, some puzzles aren't blocked out to know where one word ends and another begins. Still others have multi word phrases that don't always make much sense. Even my father, who loves the NY Times puzzle, had a difficult time not looking in the back!
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Rating crossword puzzle books is tricky. My concept of good / hard may well differ from yours.

I can almost always work my way through a Sunday sized puzzle from the New York Times or the like. So my opinion is that "100 Years, 100 Crosswords" contains a good collection of "snack sized" crossword puzzles. The puzzles aren't Sunday sized, and in most cases weren't all that difficult to solve, but they are well constructed and challenging. Just right for a quick puzzle fix without committing to a Sunday-sized amount of time or effort.

However, I never really made sense out of the "100 Years" bit. Some of the historical puzzles did obviously come from a particular (bygone) era. And they were fun to do on that basis. But other puzzles that claimed to be from the 1950s or 60s seemed to include clues and references that were much more modern. This wasn't a problem — the puzzles were generally worth doing — but the dates on the margins of the puzzle pages never provided me with any useful information.

Long story short, I found this to be a worthwhile collection of puzzles.
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A compilation of crosswords which are all new, except the first crossword by Arthur Wynne (Dec. 21, 1913). The book is broken into various time periods with each crossword having at least one referral to an event in the corresdponding time period. I found it fun, but not terribly challenging.
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I was under the impression that this collection consisted of puzzles Actually Created & Published during their "years". Instead, it is a modern group of puzzles with themes referring back to their featured years (outlined either in BOLDFACE within a clue, or parenthetically in the puzzle's title). The only true "original" I noticed is the inclusion of the now ubiquitous Arthur Wynne diamond of 1913.
That said, this is still an excellent collection, full of imaginative props (which other reviewers describe). As well, they are much easier to navigate than the "Crossword Superstar" series from the same publisher.
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My wife and I are thoroughly enjoying this book of puzzles. We find them challenging, educational, and entertaining. The spiral binding allows the pages to fold flat, making the book much easier to use. The stiff card-stock covers make the book rigid enough to write on the pages without having to use a desk or a clipboard to keep the pages flat, and the puzzles are printed on a good quality white paper which is excellent for writing with a pencil.
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Aside from the very first crossword, I don't think any of the others are genuine reproductions of crosswords from the past one hundred years.
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Stimulating & fun. Clues are very witty. It's a great history/ cultural events lesson on everything including federal legislation, famous battle sites & treaties, social activism, Pulitzer Prize winners, the Oscars, the Beatles & more.
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