Top critical review
6 of 8 people found this helpful
Not of the slightest help to me, too much , too fast
on 16 June 2013
I'm afraid I found this book of little use. It roared along making a lot of assumptions right from the start. I'm no idiot but find it difficult to see these sorts of puzzles whereas I very quick on lateral thinking. I just felt even in the early examples it rattled on far too fast. It is also not honest to imply anyone can do these crosswords. There are a large number of historical, classical and cultural clues which require a pretty in depth education.
The author may not be a setter but he is clearly an accomplished cryptic crossword worker who has forgotten (if he ever knew) the blindness beginners have to these type of clues. There's an implication that it's all so obvious.
As for the lists and lists of what certain phrasing styles could possibly mean in a clue, I'm not sure how one is supposed to memorise that lot.
It would be more helpful to be introduced to a certain type of clue one at a time and then to be given a crossword to practice that before moving on.
This book probably reads well to those who already undertand what's involved. But then they are not the target audience.