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The New York Times Little Black (and White) Book of Crosswords Spiral-bound – October 17, 2006
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
The hardcover and spiral binding is top quality. I know I will never have problems taking this book with me. It is just the right size for my "bag of holding", I mean purse, or would fit nicely in a briefcase for lunch time sovling at work.
The 200 puzzles are neatly arranged from One to Six Top Hats, based on the Mon - Sat New York Times difficulty. There are enough of each type that I can lope through them easily or if I want a harder challenge I can have that as well.
I can't reccomend this book enough! Thank you Will Shortz for putting together such an amazing book!
The smaller size is very comfortable, with the puzzle itself always on a right-hand page and clues on the left. That might make it a little tricky for left-handers to get around the spiral binding, but for the rest of us it's very comfortable. I really like the paper quality on this one, too. It's a heavier weight, slightly glossy, true white paper that feels nice to write on.
All said, it's a great way to get started on Times crosswords!
First, the format of this book is quite nice. It's smaller than most books, which makes carrying around in your coak pocket very doable. The puzzles are organized in order of difficulty, so if you feel like an easier puzzle or a harder puzzle, it's at your fingertips.
What I don't like is the paper that the puzzles are printed on. Now, I'm an ink solver, but I use an erasable pen. Using one of those pens on this shiny paper creates such a huge mess. The ink doesn't erase well at all, but it smears all over the page. The previous reviewer mentions solving these with pencils, so maybe that's the answer.
Overall, any crossword edition by Will Shortz is a winner in my book. I just wished the paper was of a different quality.
Clues appear on the left side and 4" x 4" puzzle grids appear on the right side. Answers are provided on the last 50 pages. The book is spiral bound with sturdy cardboard front and back covers. Unfortunately the puzzles herein overlap with about 75% of the 2007 page-a-day calendar content instead of mixing puzzles from several years.
The predominance of easier early week puzzles make this a great gift for a casual or new crossword fan. This will be a fixture in my suitcase for some time and I hope that St. Martin's Griffin will print a second 'Little Black (and White)' collection.
This one is my favorite in the series so far. It breaks the puzzles up into 5 levels from very easy to extremely challenging, and contains more puzzles (200) than some of the others in the series. There is one puzzle where the wrong grid has been printed opposite it so it can't be worked (surprised that no one caught that in the proofing), but with 200 in this volume that was a minor issue. The quality printing and binding of these spiral bound, hard-cover NYT crossword books can't be beat. All in all, the top-notch production, long with the feature of offering different degrees of difficulty, make them the best out there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
LOVE these books. The paper it is printed on is perfect for pencil (and eraserLOL) The puzzles are relatively rated but clever as will Shortz always are. Read morePublished 12 months ago by jan lawrence
I had only had one of Will Shortz's books previously which was a Sunday super-hard one, so I was a little disappointed that the 1-3 level ones were sooooo easy, way too easy for... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amanda Winstead
Great little crosswords puzzle book. Over 100 of easy to medium puzzles.Published 17 months ago by mremandon
Great, sturdy book. I do crosswords while relaxing on the couch and I no longer need a hard surface in which to write upon.Published 21 months ago by stephanie aiello
I love the top hats in lieu of stars for difficulty ratings. However, the book is rather large and cumbersome for doing xwords in the bath.Published on March 24, 2014 by LGS
As other reviewers noted, this book does not lie flat, but what I didn't realize was just how big the spiral is, and how heavy and chunky the book is. Read morePublished on March 8, 2014 by Wellingtonian
A good book of puzzles, sorted by level of difficulty, from Monday through Saturday. The paper is particularly nice for writing on. Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by E. Brandt