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Adventures in Puzzling: Multi-Puzzle Extravaganzas for the Brave, Bold & Bright Spiral-bound – February 1, 2011
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About the Author
Patrick Berry's puzzles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications.
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, on one page you might need to solve not one but two or even three individual puzzles, the final solution of which is required to solve some later puzzle, which is itself required to solve yet another puzzle.
You will certainly be impressed with how hard Mr. Berry must have worked to put this all together and make it mesh so well. He had to start at the end and then work backwards, and then work backwards again, and then work backwards again. Altogether the puzzles and their explanations take you on a sort of science fiction adventure (hence the title) in which you, the solver, are the hero.
I would gladly have paid twice, even three times what I did for this collection.
Update of July 29, 2011: I have played several more of the puzzles in this collection, and I hereby reiterate how much fun they are and how much I admire Berry's effort. I'm not sure anything like this has ever been done before, but if it has I'm pretty sure it has never been done better.
Even if you've been a subscriber to Games magazine for years, even if you've been on a puzzle hunt or two, you're still bound to come across something you haven't seen before, and while those who solve the WSJ's Second Saturday puzzles will quickly recognize Berry's innovative grid puzzles (like "In Boxes"), they'll nonetheless be bowled over by his incredibly tricky logic puzzles, which range from reconstructing games of Hangman with a pack of angry yetis to sussing out the winner of a game of five-card draw in which nobody knows how to play.
The pacing between puzzles is also well-planned: the one real stumper in every set of puzzles is always surrounded by a few that can be cracked with trial-and-error, persistence, or a nifty aha-moment. But even the easier challenges, like a word-search ("Foursquare"), have a trick or two up their sleeve. It's enough that I haven't wanted to put this book down since it arrived -- but also haven't been able to, yet, since I'm still working on more than a few challenges.
Bottom line? If you like variety puzzles -- i.e., something more than the average crossword, logic puzzle, word game -- then you have to go adventuring with Berry's book.
Although the final puzzle in each series is usually trivial (but still extremely satisfying), it's the individual puzzles leading to the final solution that are brilliant. You think you're smart being able to solve these. Then you realize how smart Patrick Berry has to be to create them, and you go back to feeling average.
Biggest disappointment is that you hit the end hungry for more and don't know where to go.
Why 4 stars? There is but a single frustrating flaw with the book - the second-to-last puzzle has a serious issue. Stop reading here if you don't want to know what the issue is...
The second-to-last puzzle is another excellent, innovative, and in this case, darkly humorous puzzle design. Unfortunately, of the 4 iterations presented here, one iteration is unsolvable (the solution in the back breaks one of the rules of the puzzle) and at least one other iteration has multiple solutions (which can impact the final puzzle of the storyline). One could argue that there is indeed only one solution to this iteration since the letters provided can be used to create a word that doesn't fit into the final puzzle of the chapter, but checking your answer against the final puzzle is not something that needs to be done elsewhere in the book.
Despite this misstep, this is a fine, fine collection of puzzles that is well worth your time and money. I highly recommend it.
Patrick Berry lives up to his standard in this book and I'm hoping that he produces more.
In terms of presentation/packaging:
Illustrated by Patrick Merrell.
What more could you ask for?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the fact that every page has a different puzzle.
And the solutions are in the back, in case you get stuck.Read more