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The Times How to do The Times Crossword Paperback – 2 Apr 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007108400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007108404
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

'The Times' crossword has a reputation above all other crosswords. There are many techniques required to tackle the clues and this guide explains them.

Written by Brian Greer, the Crossword Editor of 'The Times', this guide provides the introduction to understanding The Times crossword. It provides advice on how to tackle the crossword and how to read the clues so that you can find the solution. What at first sight appear opaque in a clue is explained and made clear, showing the variety of different ways in which cryptic clues can be constructed. There are many examples of clues and the structure of the crossword.

About the Author

Brian Greer is a former Crossword Editor of The Times

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Partisan on 18 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was a great disappointment. It is only a slim volume (136 pages) the early pages are spent in a meander around crossword history - I bought the book to learn how to do "The Times crossword". The explanation of cryptic clues is fairly disorganised and skimpy and the solutions to the examples(as noted in an earlier review) are almost incomprehensible being crowded at the back with no reference whatsoever to the puzzles or clues involved. Really not worth the money or the effort.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
There are a number of guides on how to solve cryptic crosswords out there, and this book is the most advanced of all of them. It is engagingly written and provides plenty of illustrations.
I do however have a number of quibbles that prevent me from giving it a whole-hearted recommendation. First, I found it difficult to navigate through the different types of clues. Second, an more importantly, the solutions are at the back, and are unnumbered. This format makes it really tedious to navigate through the examples. In some cases, I just gave up. Personally, in a tutor of this sort, I would have preferred the solutions on the same page as the clue. Finally, I didn't understand many of the solutions! More help in how they were derived would have been helpful.
It's a pity, because this book could have been great, whereas it's just another good guide.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the best book about solving cryptic crosswords I've seen since Don Manley's "Chambers Crossword Manual" appeared in 1986. The author is supremely well qualified for his task. He has been setting Times puzzles since 1976, and was the paper's crossword editor for five years. He has also competed (like your reviewer) in the final of the Times Crossword Championship, so understands both sides of the contest between setter and solver. His work as a psychologist, specialising in mathematical education, gives him insights into problem solving, which he exploits well.
The book is quite short (136pp) but covers a lot of ground in that space. There are hundreds of sample clues (often very celver ones) scattered through the text. The potential problem of attempting to solve them in isolation is alleviated by the "First Aid Section" listing some checking letters you might have if the clue was part of a puzzle. Answers to all the sample clues are included, including explanations of literary references and the less obvious bits of "General Knowledge" required.
The book is a little short on actual puzzles. Five sample Times puzzles are included, and three tutorial puzzles rather forbiddingly labelled as "Tests". However, there are plenty of newspaper and puzzle books out there.
Like most books on cryptic crosswords, a brief history is included, as well as material more specifically related to Times puzzles, and they way they have changed over the years. These sections managed to include some facts that this reader of crossword-related books hadn't seen before.
Any book explaining cryptic crosswords has to give major attention to the types of clues that are used. This is done elegantly, and each type is illustrated with plenty of examples.
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