Two Girls One on Each Knee 7 The Puzzling Playful World of

Two Girls One on Each Knee 7 The Puzzling Playful World of

Two Girls One on Each Knee 7 The Puzzling Playful World of the Crossword ❆ [KINDLE] ✿ Two Girls One on Each Knee 7 The Puzzling Playful World of the Crossword By Alan Connor ➟ – A journalist and word aficionado salutes the 100 year history and pleasures of crossword puzzles Since its debut in  The New York World on December 21 1913 the crossword puzzle has enjoyed a rich a A journalist and word One on PDF Æ aficionado salutes the year history and pleasures of crossword puzzles Since Two Girls PDF/EPUB ² its debut in  The New York World on December the crossword puzzle has enjoyed a Girls One on PDF/EPUB ✓ rich and surprisingly lively existence Alan Connor a comic writer known for his exploration of all Girls One on Each Knee PDF/EPUB or things crossword in The Guardian covers every twist and turn from the s when crosswords were considered a menace to productive society; to World War II when they were used to recruit code breakers; to their starring role in a episode of  The Simpsons He also profiles the colorful characters who make up the interesting and bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers including Will Shortz the iconic New York Times puzzle editor who created a crafty crossword that appeared to predict the outcome of a presidential election and the legions of competitive puzzle solvers who descend on a Connecticut hotel each year in an attempt to be crowned the American puzzle solving champion At a time when the printed word is in decline Connor marvels at the crossword’s Girls One on Each Knee PDF/EPUB or seamless transition onto Kindles and iPads keeping the puzzle one of America’s favorite pastimes He also explores the way the human brain processes crosswords versus computers that are largely stumped by clues that reuire wordplay or a simple grasp of humor A fascinating examination of our most beloved linguistic amusement—and filled with tantalizing crosswords and clues embedded in the text— The Crossword Century is sure to attract the attention of the readers who made  Word Freak and  Just My Type bestsellers.

10 thoughts on “Two Girls One on Each Knee 7 The Puzzling Playful World of the Crossword

  1. Martin Wilson Martin Wilson says:

    This book certainly would make a good present for a crossword loving friend or family member With its tasteful cover and erudite subject this is perfect for a coffee table However I also recommend reading it It's good well written fun and informative It is also challenging but it's up to you how challenging you want to make it Some chapters I read uickly others in detail poring over sentences and not moving on until I understood them fully and had solved their clues And there are lots of clues in this book The table of contents is a crossword Even the index contains clues I was going to describe this as a 'concept' book but that has a specific meaning in publishing and this most certainly isn't a children's bookThe 'Preamble' says that the book is like solving a cryptic puzzle and that you can read it in any order This put me off at first as I am something of a traditionalist when it comes to reading a book I like to start at the beginning and read each word in turn until I reach the end In fact that's what I did and I don't think I missed out by doing that However I can see how some readers might want to pick and choose from the chapters in particular if you already know how to tackle cryptic clues then you might find some of the earlier chapters a bit suck eggs ishWhich brings me on to a uestion I pondered while reading this book is it aimed at a dabbler like me think PG Wodehouse rather than MR James or a crossword aficionado? I think it is trying for both and in my dabbler's opinion it succeeds It is packed full of facts and anecdotes told in a chatty entertaining style It seems meticulously researched I doubt there's a crossword fact or reference in history politics or popular culture that Connor has missedSome sections are undoubtedly challenging for a dabbler but then so are cryptic crosswords and if you don't like those you wouldn't be here

  2. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    35 A nice little collection of mostly cryptic crossword trivia Whilst the book's name looks even dodgier if you've got a browser tab open with only the first three words showing the US title is the considerably sober The Crossword Century Which the author would point out reflects differences between setters on respective sides of the pond The language of wordplay can be suggestive even though the setter may with a straightish face insist that any lewdness is all in the solver’s mind The British setters that is American puzzles maintain an air of respectability and so eschew clues that fail the ‘Sunday morning breakfast test’Definitions can themselves evoke imagery loucher than the answer I wonder if they left out the paragraphs about the Viz crossword for the YanksGiven the repetition of the info about these national differences in early and final chapters and a few other recurrences I suspect the book is compiled from columns or blog posts The author writes the Guardian's crossword blog I don't read it regularly It's less repetitive than some column based books so they've at least made some effort with the editingIt's maybe ten years since I'd read other books on the history of crosswords so I didn't mind hearing some points again but there was sufficient new material to make Two Girls an interesting light non fiction read Connor has a modern gossipy tone than older aficionados so even when it comes to the old stuff we learn things that previously went unsaid Sadly Ximenes the former Observer setter who helped establish many of the rules of British crosswords rather lived up to his pseudonym in his role as a schoolmaster being known for his keenness on corporal chastisementBritish newspaper crosswords tend to be well rather British with something Wodehousian sun setting on the Empire a dash of Carry On about them Whilst various changes have been made over the years to make them a touch contemporary chuck out some obsolete references that were only familiar to the 80 age group Connor is one of the people who like me likes the 'vintage' feel and doesn't want to revamp everything It would still have been interesting and a slightly weightier book if he had given space to debates about potentially alienating slightly un PC language Another Guardian setter Arachne has written about these matters online although you couldn't call her a prude one of her clues which swears at George W Bush is included in this book There is a sort of cryptic crossword how to near the beginning but unless you are an absolute natural or someone who used to be consistently good and is just in need of a brief refresher it isn't enough to learn from and there are very few easy examples If you read this for goodness' sake get a paper copy not an ebook With the possible exception of crossword geniuses like my friend Matthew perhaps there are others in my friends list I'm unaware of you will want to flip back and forth all the time and be able to see than one page at once Extra clues to a puzzle at the beginning appear at points throughout the text and sets of older or tricky clues are given at various junctures as examples with answers in the back after the endnotes

  3. Patrick Patrick says:

    There is no doubt that the elegant formulation of a clue for a cryptic crossword has a poetry about it They are simultaneously so much and so much less complicated than the words suggest They are an intensely serious form of play; a test of will between a setter invariably concealed behind some mysterious codename and their audience who are sometimes far like a community than one might assume The problem is that I find crosswords intensely interesting in the abstract but I have never been any good at solving them There is a part of me which resists the whole exercise in the same way that I once resisted my maths homework Often when reading the explanation for a clue I’m tempted to fling the whole puzzle across the room Too often I feel like I’ve been tricked as if by sleight of hand I can see that the answer must be hidden somewhere and I’m vaguely aware of how it has been done but perhaps I just don’t have the patience to work it out by myself? Except that a patient attentive methodological approach often isn’t enough either because cryptic crosswords aren’t like mathematics Many clues rely on a certain kind of lateral associative thinking which is difficult to teach let alone learn via reverse engineering Like most people I can get perhaps halfway through a ‘uick’ crossword where the definitions are essentially literal and you either know them or you don’t but I am left utterly stumped by the strange verse of the classic cryptic still beloved of the British broadsheet papersI think I was expecting 'Two Girls One On Each Knee' by Alan Connor to be something like a guide to solving these puzzles for the general reader This isn’t what it is at all; it does devote a chapter to introducing some of the typical forms of clues and how to approach them but this feels somewhat rushed and general As we will later find out there isn’t really any single formula that one can adopt when tackling a clue Veteran solvers will notice signs and signifiers everywhere but even if one has a basic idea of what to do many clues reuire a considerable leaps in deductive reasoning not to mention a dash of humour Incidentally the answer to the clue that is the title of the book is ‘PATELLA’; as in the bone found ‘on’ each knee; and as in ‘Pat’ and ‘Ella’ two names for girls Of course Of courseFor the most part this is a book about the history and cultural importance of crosswords aimed at the general reader Famous setters and solvers both real and fictional media depictions from Brief Encounter onwards the role of crosswords in espionage the various crazes for crosswords and social concerns this brought up The book even touches upon the different approaches and personalities of some of the most prolific setters and it offers plenty of clever and amusing clues that demonstrate different facets of the setter’s skill Some are rigorous in terms of the ‘rules’ at work with no word nor punctuation wasted; others are freewheeling anarchic and sometimes extremely rude even I can tell that much from the crossword in the back pages of Private Eye magazine The answers to all the clues in the book are given in an appendix in the back but I still found myself mystified as to how many of the solutions had been reached from the clues on offer There’s a certain tendency here to wave away the difficulty of some of the most infuriating clues with the suggestion that this is all part of the mystery and magic of the game And it is But at times it’s difficult to avoid the sense of being swindled To take a random example at one point the book deigns to explain the clue ‘Relaxed when lying in grass topless 5’ — we are asked to remove the ‘top’ letter of ‘reed’ and insert ‘as’ for ‘when’ to make the answer EASED But this only reads like half of an explanation Where has ‘reed’ come from again? There’s a sense throughout of ‘it’s easy when you know how’ that anyone aspiring to actually learn the art of solving is likely to find frustrating And this I think says something about the contradiction that underlies the nature of the cryptic crossword Because they are about wordplay than general knowledge in theory anyone can learn to do them It’s no longer the case that a classical education is a prereuisite for the average clue And yet for the most part they remain something of an exclusive pastime In fiction they are still a signifier of genius To an extent the format preserves its own rarified status in that the average serious crossword offers little to nothing to the reader who isn’t prepared to put in the hours to study its arcane art This being the case I wonder how many years we can expect to see them in the media; to some extent they have already been overtaken in popularity by number games like Sudoku and digital variants like Picross But those games operate according to rigorous specific rules the nature of which is always clear to every player Solving them is simply a matter of completing an euation parts of which are already known The charm of the cryptic crossword is that it resists this kind of straightforward processing It is as far as I can tell an entirely uniue form of art that has no close relatives in gaming or literature That being the case I suspect the nature of clue writing will endure even if it has to move to a different kind of puzzle altogether

  4. Angela Lynn Angela Lynn says:

    When I first learned that I would be receiving a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways I was concerned that it was going to be intellectual and boring However this book was smart fun and down to earth In addition to learning all about crosswords in short succinct chapters I picked up some tips and tricks to solving along the way A uick read that is perfect for the crossword enthusiast who doesn't uite finish the Sunday Times puzzle

  5. Sara Sara says:

    I really disliked this book I do not understand British Cryptics they completely mystify me This book was all over the place and I seldom understood what the author was talking about It was all clever word play I'm sure Over my head I will pass this on to my mom who can actually finish the New York Times crossword in one sitting and go back to studying linguistics

  6. Phil Walsh Phil Walsh says:

    Very informative and helpful I'm a person who states at crosswords rather than solves them This has reduced staring and increased use of writing implement

  7. Kristine Kristine says:

    The Crossword Century by Alan Connor is a free Goodreads FirstReads advance reader copy of a book I began reading in late late May Some of my best memories of spending time with my dad is passing a weekend newspaper crosswords puzzle back and forth with a leaky inky ballpoint pen so I had looked forward eagerly to receiving this book as a kind of resource compendiumUnfortunately this is a retrospective overly cheerful sort of Wikipedia article in a book form Though yes there are some tidbits of useful info ie I knew what the concept of 'ninas' were but not what they were formally called; that Sondheim Sinatra and Fry are all avid crossword fans; information about wartime codebreakers it comes off as trying too hard and of a punny eyeroller than a non fiction book you'd want to read than once

  8. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    I received this book from Goodreads FirstReadsVery clever This book showed the humour skills and tact for creating crosswords as well as their history without being boring or sounding borrowed I was able to pick it back up easily and it made a good 'few minutes of down time' read with the short chapters and condensed background of the craft and it's creatorscontributors Most enjoyable and I shall appreciate the newspaper printings of crosswords that I see from now on rest assured

  9. Page Wench Page Wench says:

    I won this book through the GoodReads First Reads programYou don't need to be an avid crossword solver to enjoy this book All you need is a healthy interest in wordplay and history I have solved crossword puzzles off and on over the years but never caught the fever I wanted to read this book because of my father's interest in this pastime I thoroughly enjoyed learning the intricate uirks beyond the face value of filling in the suares as well as the history of the constructors and puzzle itself Very well written with a lighthearted humor throughout Very enjoyable

  10. Larry Hostetler Larry Hostetler says:

    For crossword aficionados this would be an interesting read For me though I enjoy crosswords but don't play them very often this was still an interesting read I learned a lot about the history and construction of crosswords but also about other types of crossword puzzles like acrostics There is a lot of information and it would seem to be difficult to find enough to fill a book about puzzles but the contents were presented in a way that kept me wanting to keep readingWell organized with chapters short enough but long enough to cover each subjectA good read

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