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Will Shortz Presents The Little Black Book of Sudoku: 400 Puzzles Spiral-bound – November 14, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Will Shortz is] the high priest of puzzling.” ―Fortune

“[Sudoku] has become a pop culture phenomenon.” ―CNN

“The latest fad is Sudoku, a number game in a box, In less than two years, the puzzle has won a popularity that verges on the epidemic.” ―Time

“The newest puzzle craze to sweep the country.” ―CBS News

About the Author

Will Shortz has been the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times since 1993. He is also the puzzlemaster on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday and is founder and director of the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. He has edited countless books of crossword puzzles, Sudoku, KenKen, and all manner of brain-busters.

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Product Details

  • Series: Will Shortz Presents...
  • Spiral-bound: 464 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312368690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312368692
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 17, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
Long recognized as a great "puzzler," not just for sudoku but for his NYTimes crosswords, Will Shortz provides 400 puzzles of difficulties ranging from "Light and Easy" to "Beware! Very Challenging!" Regardless of the level, these puzzles are scrupulously fair, requiring, in my experience, only two occasions of "trailing" (and those may have been my own fault), when most other such books often require the puzzler to use this "technique" many times during the book.

"Trailing" is the controversial "technique" in which a puzzler, unable to move further in the puzzle, (desperately) chooses a number from a set of pairs and inserts it into the box. The puzzler then trails the results as they suggest other solutions involving other numbers throughout the puzzle to see if they work or if, eventually, you get duplicates in rows, columns or squares. (If you do, you have to backtrack and insert the other number from the pair, which should work.) Many puzzlers feel that this "technique" is not "logic" but guesswork.

The book is a convenient size and has a spiral binding. The puzzles are large, and the pages are smooth and very white, allowing you to write in plenty of options and do whatever erasing you may require without roughing up the surface of the page (in case you decide to start over). Some of the puzzles which look the most difficult and have the most empty spaces are, in fact, the most fun, with surprises opening up as you do the puzzle. Many are very tricky (but fair), and some will have you berating yourself for missing something that should have been obvious, especially in the most challenging puzzles. For pure fun, without the frustration which trailing produces in many of us, this is one of the best books around.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Will Shortz is a fabulous puzzle editor, and this collection is one of his best. The spine of the book is spiral, which fascilitates puzzle working. Extremely high quality paper makes it easy to erase notes or mistakes. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys sudoku. It has four levels of difficulty, 100 puzzles of each level.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
WARNING!! I love other Will Shortz Sudoku books so I ordered the spiral version thinking that it would be a great format. Unfortunately, it is not a regular spiral that allows for opening and folding over to expose only the one page. The book has a huge spiral coil covered by an oversize hard plastic covering that makes the book impossible to fully open flat, let alone open and fold over as in a regular spiral notebook design. I am returning and hope to warn others about this design defect so you can avoid my troubles.
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Format: Spiral-bound
Don't advertise "spiral bound" if the spiral binding has an awkward hard binding over it.

One would assume that the sole reason for advertising a spiral bound sudoku book is that customers want a book that will LAY FLAT ON A TABLE. This book does not. Having nothing to do with its content, the format of this book is very unfortunate and the description above is misleading.
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Format: Spiral-bound
Mostly, I love the spiral binding and hardcover, because I can haul it around on my breaks at work. No more trying to write on my knee without poking my pencil through the paper. But I've done about 1/4th of the puzzles and the back cover has slipped out of the binding twice. So far it's slipped back in pretty easily but it's got me slightly worried.
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Format: Spiral-bound
This is the third time I have bought this exact book, so that should tell you how much I like it. There are 100 puzzles for each level of difficulty for a total of 400 puzzles. Great quality paper, easy-to-use spiral binder.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I recently turned 30, so I made a list of 30 things to do while I'm 30. One of the things was to complete an entire book of sudoku puzzles.

After reading the reviews of this book, I bought it. Other reviewers complained about the cover over the spiral binding. And yeah... it's annoying. But I cut the part of the cover that is over the spiral binding off and it lays perfectly flat.

Check out the customer pics that I posted that shows it lying flat.

As for the actual puzzles, I can't totally speak for the quality but I'm enjoying working through them. Right now I'm still in the Light and Easy section and they are... light and easy.

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This sudoku book is excellent.
The puzzles are large on good quality paper.
Plenty of room for solver to pencil in clues and eliminations.
Hint: cut the spiral's cover off and you can flip pages over while keeping your place in this massive collection.
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