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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crosswords in a different style, 13 Jan 2010
By 
Peter Biddlecombe "peterbiddlecombe" (Bucks, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New York Times Sunday Crossword Omnibus, Volume 10: 200 World Famous Sunday Puzzles from the Pages of the New York Times (New York Times Sunday Crosswords Omnibus) (Paperback)
If you don't like cryptic crosswords or would just like a change of diet, the New York Times puzzle is the top of the tree for non-cryptic crosswords. US-style crosswords are a bit different to the "quick" or "concise" puzzle in your daily paper, as they are often based on themes or gimmicks (and the often becomes ALWAYS for the Sunday puzzles), and they include much US-based material - brand names, for instance, are fair game there whereas most British puzzles don't use them. You'll also learn about abbreviations for US Govt departments, university sports teams, and much more, as well as finding the odd bit of trickery not too different from what you'd see in a cryptic crossword. This isn't be quite as hard as it sounds - unlike British non-cryptic crosswords, US-style ones have 100% checking - every white square is in an across answer and a down answer - so some answers will just get filled in from crossing ones and teach you another bit of Americana.

This book contains 200 Sunday puzzles, all but one from the period 2005-2009. If you know that the NY Times has a system where puzzles increase in difficulty from Mon to Sat, it may help to know that the average puzzle is about Thursday level. Sunday puzzles are bigger than weekday ones - 21x21 or 23x23, rather than 15x15.

If US-style puzzles are completely new to you, Amy Reynaldo's How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle: Tips, Tricks and Techniques to Master America's Favorite Puzzle will show you the ropes - but if you don't mind working hard, just dive in and learn from your experience and the solutions as you go through the book.
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