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The Crossword Answer Book Hardcover – 1 Nov 1996

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The Most Useful Crossword Reference Book Ever Published
The New York Times Crossword Answer Book is the 1998 updated version of The Crossword Answer Book, first published in hardcover in 1996.

If you've used crossword dictionaries before, you know that all too often the answer you're looking for just isn't there. The reason why: Most crossword dictionaries have tons of words that never appear in real crosswords, and leave out tons of words that appear in crosswords all the time. The "old" way of compiling crossword dictionaries -- from unabridged dictionaries and atlases -- doesn't work for today's crosswords.

The New York Times Crossword Answer Book, compiled by Dan Stark and myself, is truly different. It is based on a massive computer analysis of thousands of crosswords, from the New York Times and elsewhere, supplemented by a libraryful of popular-culture references. The result is a book that contains an unprecedented 83% of all answers in American crosswords -- far more than any crossword reference book ever published before. You will find not only the usual "dictionary" words, but also slang, celebrity names from all fields, multi-word phrases, abbreviations, even Roman numerals! Canadian puzzlers will be glad to know that there is comprehensive coverage of Canadian/British spellings, such as CENTRE and IDOLISE.

To use the book, all you need are two letters of the answer you're looking for. For example, if you need a seven-letter word whose second letter is U and sixth is A, you can quickly locate a list of words that fit, including: BURGLAR, DUNAWAY, PUT AWAY and YUCATAN. The context of the clue will tell you which answer is the correct one.

The outstanding response to the hardcover edition enabled us to get the endorsement of the New York Times for this revised softcover version. Will Shortz, crossword editor of the Times, keeps a copy of the book right over his desk. He calls The New York Times Crossword Answer Book "The most comprehensive source of contemporary crossword answers." Book of the Month Club has selected both the hardcover and this new edition for their members.

If you're looking for the one book that will help you the most in completing crosswords, either for yourself or your favorite puzzle fan, The New York Times Crossword Answer Book is the one you want. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Just What You're Looking For 20 Jan. 2000
By David R. Cox - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is exactly what you'd expect. You've got a couple of letters and need an answer, they're all here. Granted, that's a bit to look through, but desperate times and all that. I found this book particularly good for crossword construction, if you're into that sort of thing.
This is an early, but excellent crossword reference book ... 25 Nov. 2011
By D. Fowler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Like most crossword aficionados I started doing crosswords when I was just a little kid. I'd sit at the table working at them and my "dictionary" was an aunt who was also very fond of them. Later on when I was a `tweener I picked up the Dell Crossword Dictionary. At the time that had most of the answers I needed. When crossword puzzles got more sophisticated and Will Shortz came on the scene, particularly as crossword puzzle editor for the New York Times, things were never quite the same. The "answers" couldn't be plucked out of any ordinary dictionary no matter how hard you tried ... until now (sorry Dell).

I occasionally work in a bookstore and when I spotted this book my first impression was that I didn't need it. I don't, but it's one of those books that are such a draw you just have to take a peek. I couldn't resist, but when I opened up the book it was one of those "what the heck is this?" moments. It looked like page after page of the Torah code. Yes, there is almost every answer you could ever find in a crossword reference book, but is referenced in a manner I never would have dreamed up.

According to the authors, the book "is arranged first by word length, then alphabetically by the position of two given letters. So once you have two letters of an answer filled in, you can quickly find a list of words and phrases that have those two letters in those two positions." Of course you will not find lengthy, multiple word sequences, but you will find many contemporary ones (three to seven letters). Just to give you an idea as to how this works I've included a very short section below so you can see the way this reference works.



I was pleasantly surprised when I tried a few from actual New York Times puzzles from their Crossword Puzzle Omnibus and quickly found the "answer." It did help to have a good idea of what I was looking for, especially in sections where there were large blocks of words. Included are "phrases, proper names, and abbreviations" used in actual puzzles. The method is easy to figure out and loads of fun to play with. I couldn't resist buying it and certainly don't regret it as this really is a book with all the answers, the ones that just don't seem to come to mind. It is especially handy on the notoriously tricky Sunday puzzles.
New York Times crossword answer book 9 Feb. 2011
By Dortha Broughton - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There wasn't a description about the book, other than it was an answer book. All it has is possible letters to fit your puzzle. I thought it would be like a dictionary, and would give words to answer the puzzle clues. I don't like it at all!!
Somewhat confusing 1 Mar. 2014
By Karren Ruesing - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband as our very old NY Times Crossword book was outdated. He states the old book was easier, this one is somewhat confusing so he has not really used it.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Finding theTrail 27 Jan. 2006
By R. Thaw - Published on
Format: Paperback
All the solutions are there. What is the organization to quickly find the appropriate known letter positions? The book lacks any explanation as to how to look stuff up.
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