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Paperback Random House Guide to Cryptic Crosswords: How to Solve America's Trickiest Puzzles, Plus 65 of Cox & Rathvon's. . . Book

ISBN: 0812926218

ISBN13: 9780812926217

Random House Guide to Cryptic Crosswords: How to Solve America's Trickiest Puzzles, Plus 65 of Cox & Rathvon's. . .

A comprehensive "how-to" manual to introduce beginners to the world of cryptic crosswords, as well as a collection of the best of Cox & Rathvon's puzzles from Atlantic Monthly -- published here in... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Hooked on Cryptics!

I have always been intrigued by the British cryptic crosswords, but also intimidated by the indecipherable clues. But thank the spirit of words that Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon have written this great book which explains clearly the types of crptic clues in an entertaining and informative fashion. With plain language the authors point out the types of cryptic clues (anagrams, homophones, containers, charades, deletions, hidden, reversals, etc.) which are cleverly disguised to trick you away from the answer. I highly recommend this book to all those who are curious about cryptic crosswords. I only hope the authors follow up with their own volume of cryptic crosswords.

This Guide Helped Me More Than Any Other

This is the book that got me started on cryptic puzzles. I had read various free pamphlets offered by newspapers and magazines that ran British cryptics and I had looked at online guides. It didn't all come together until I worked through this book. One nice thing is that, in addition to explaining the various types of clues and how to solve them, the authors provide lots of progressively more difficult practice puzzles that slowly but surely get you into the whole cryptic puzzle mindset. One minor drawback... This book may not completely prepare you for the difficulty of The Times of London puzzle and other British cryptics. Perhaps the authors could do a follow up volume that would prepare Americans for a few of the eccentricities of British puzzles? Still, this is the best introduction to cryptics I have encountered. Warning: Once you learn how to do the cryptics, traditional puzzles, even challenging New York Times puzzles, may seem a little dull.

Get ready for a challenge

For those of you who are getting bored with conventional crossword puzzles and want to try something different, try a cryptic crossword. It combines the grid and clues of a regular crossword with a bit of wordplay to make it tougher and more interesting. This book provides excellent instructions on how to solve one, with plenty of examples and 8 warm-up puzzles. Next come 15 standard block cryptic puzzles for you to practice on. Then comes the type of cryptic puzzle that Cox and Rathvon are known for: their variety cryptics. These puzzles have a extra twist to them, such as missing clues or grid letters, words changing direction or position in the grid, modified letters, and other devilish permutations to keep you on your toes. These 50 variety cryptics are taken from the pages of the Atlantic Monthly. Finally, Cox and Rathvon provide a couple of chapters on the rules and strategies for creating your own cryptic puzzles.Once you get the hang of it, solving cryptics is like eating potato chips... you simply can't stop. So you will be happy to know that there is a companion book to this one, called "Atlantic Monthly Cryptic Crosswords," that picks up where this one leaves off and provides another 45 devilishly difficult variety cryptics for you to enjoy.


Cox and Rathvon are the best in the biz at cryptic crosswords, and this is an excellent introduction to their work. They have written a very clear and helpful explanation for how cluing works in cryptics, and also a variety of puzzles to practice with, ranging from those for rank beginners to some "variety" cryptics that will challenge savvy, experienced solvers.

Excellent beginner's introduction to cryptic crosswords

The American crosswording public is largely unfamiliar with the cryptic crossword, and are baffled when one turns up. No more! Cox and Rathvon introduce us to this clever and entertaining form of wordplay, taking a very effective phased approach, teaching us the tricks one by one until we're ready to set off on our own. The book also includes eight practice puzzles and 65 full-sized puzzles, graded by difficulty. Anyone who loves word games will want this book. But beware! You'll become hooked on cryptic crosswords; don't say I didn't warn you!
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