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Puzzle Masterpieces: Elegant Challenges for Crossword Lovers Hardcover – April 7, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patrick Berry is a freelance puzzle constructor whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Harper's, The New Yorker and numerous other publications. He is also the editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education's weekly crossword.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Puzzlewright (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402760655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402760655
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 7.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Michaels on March 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Patrick Berry's variety crosswords in Games magazine for many years, especially the Rows Garden and Some Assembly Required types. This gives you about 40 puzzles' worth, enough for a flight to the moon, never mind San Francisco. Although these aren't cryptic crosswords, the same solver mindset will aid you in their solution. Does rely heavily on pop culture trivia.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are already a crossword fan then you might recognize Patrick Berry's name.
If you do not successfully solve the Friday and Saturday New York Times puzzles then this might not be the book for you. These puzzles are very challenging indeed. This beautiful book would make a great gift for the solver on your list. This small hardcover book is almost too pretty to write in. It makes me want to use tracing paper so I can pass it along to someone else. None of the puzzles are the usual grid patterns. They are very unusual and almost works of art. If you think you might be ready for a challenge then this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book, a gift during a recent surgical convalescence. The puzzles are perfect - hard, but not impossible, some good for one sitting, many that need to be revisited a couple of times, but all satisfying. Many crostic/variety type puzzles lose my interest once they are 'cracked', but not these - the crafting is just fabulous. And the book design/printing is gorgeous and elegant.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terrific! Hubby and I have always enjoyed Berry's weekly puzzle in the Wall Street Journal, so I was quite happy to see a book full of 'em. Bought two copies, one as a gift, and am now ordering a third for -- don't read this, Jim -- a convalescing friend. I wish I had thought to photocopy the puzzles in our own copy so that we can redo them several years from now as our memories begin to fade. Nearly had an infarct when I saw that the hardcover edition is now $66.00, but found it in paperback from an amazon associate vendor for $3.00 or so.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Patrick Berry is not known for easy puzzles, of course, but these were harder than I could really enjoy doing. I DID enjoy the amazing, intricate constructions, though. Berry shows his brilliance putting these together. I showed my lack of brilliance by being able to complete maybe 10% of the puzzles without peeking at the solution. Bottom line: if you love a good challenge and appreciate creative puzzle construction, you'll love this book. If you are a casual crossword puzzle solver, keep looking.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was give me several years ago. I was too intimidated to try when I thumbed through. However, one day recently I picked it up and went to first puzzle and lo! I almost solved it all without a dictionary. My puzzle-loving sister-in-law is to be the recipient of this gift.
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Format: Hardcover
Patrick Berry is a singularly gifted and creative crossword constructor. This handsome volume features hours of knotty challenges in the form of "variety crosswords": word puzzles that are typically tougher than standard crosswords because you often have to puzzle out where the answers go, not just what each clue's answer is. The answer words and phrases tend to be longer and more interesting than the short words that fill standard crosswords (you know the ones: ERIE, OLEO, ERA, ANTE, etc.).

The book's difficulty level is billed as being Wednesday-level, but many of the puzzles are closer to Saturday NYT level (or beyond). I love that! You can buy easy crosswords at any grocery store newsstand, but it can be hard to find really tough crosswords. For fans of challenging and smart crosswords, "Puzzle Masterpieces" is a treasure.
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By jeanne on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Patrick Berry is the BEST puzzle maker! I am always amazed at the totally new constructions he creates. What is neat is when you think you cannot possibly solve one, just come back a little later, or attack from another angle! BUY THIS BOOK
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