Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Crossword books

I have a lot of old puzzle books I've picked up here and there. Going through them, I find there's some overlap and reprints. For example, I have series 90 of the Margaret Farrar-edited Crossword Puzzle Book (1963). Puzzles from this book are also part of Crossword Treasury series 10 and 11, which I also own. I went through, crossing out duplicates, but ended up not completing everything because the pages were too brittle (and the puzzles were... old).

Moving into the Maleska era, I did NY Times Sunday crosswords, vol. 15 and 18. These were more modern though still not what we're used to today. Eugene T. Maleska's Crossword Book of Quotations was going smoothly, until I noticed that the book was part of a crossquotes omnibus I already did. In this pre-computer era, typography was inconsistent (varying lengths of blanks) and one puzzle even had messed up numbering. The quotes were highlighted in yellow, and the full quotation was given in the answers.

I had the 60th anniversary S&S collection (1924-84), series 133, co-edited by Farrar and Maleska. Then we skip to series 146, edited by Maleska and John Samson. I had several puzzles with 1 or 2 squares wrong, because the material was obscure. Much better were series 258 (2007), Mega 5 and Mega 6 (ed. by John Samson). I like the Mega books (I've found errors, but there seem to be fewer with time), but wonder if I'll ever catch up.

Editor Mel Rosen chose the puzzles in RH Editor's Choice. I did volume 1 and did not see any other volumes, so ordered a compilation. Even if I once did them, I'll never remember by now. I also did Mel's Casual Crosswords, vol. 5. I hesitate to call puzzles "too easy" but with hints and tags for multiple words, maybe this series is not geared for me.

Just before the 2011 tournament, I ordered The Wrath of Klahn and Patricks' Puzzle Pandemonium. B&N delivered astonishingly fast. I might have done these before in other venues, but I never remember puzzles and figured they'd be good practice.

I'm a completist, so I got the enhanced edition of Crasswords (ed. Francis Heaney) even though I did the original. The intro helpfully pointed out which were the new puzzles, so I solved those and will give away the book. Words in Blankety-Blank SCRABBLE Crosswords by Frank Longo had the constraint of being Scrabble-legal.

I'm not an opera fan but David Kahn's The Metropolitan Opera: Crosswords for Opera Lovers is a lovely little book. So is Jeffrey Harris's Sit & Solve Pop Music Crosswords, and I am a pop music fan. Another small-size book is Patrick Blindauer's Hip Pocket Crosswords which probably does fit in a pocket, though I kept it on the dining room table. Last of the smallish (but high quality) books I solved was The Penguin Classics Crossword Puzzles, ed. by Ben Tausig.

Almost done! It helps that I have almost nothing to say about the puzzles themselves (how do crossword bloggers do it?). I am not above reading People Magazine, and also not above doing their puzzles (except for find the difference in the pictures. No thanks). Celebrity Puzzler Holiday Special doesn't have the best puzzles in the world, but they're OK and good for testing pop culture.

Lastly, I just finished a whole book of Triple-Stack Crosswords by Martin Ashwood-Smith. That is my idea of fun.

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