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The presentation can't be faulted (so much easier to idly jot answers on the sofa when you're holding a hardback!) and the 'once a decade' sections of material about things like the puzzle's setters and editors are interesting.

But the use of one puzzle per year shows just how much this puzzle has changed over the years. I'm supposed to be very good at this game, but there are some puzzles in the first couple of decades where I'm stumped by many of the clues. Perhaps the best method is to start at the back of the book and travel gradually backwards in time, so that you begin with puzzles of a more familiar style.

So why not 5 stars? Same reason as for most collections of cryptic crosswords - no explanations to show why the answers are the right answers.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2009
Brilliant! An amazing book with which to while away the winter months and perform mental gymnastics at the same time. Fascinating to see how the cryptic crossword has evolved from the first issue - a quintessentially British leisure time activity perhaps. Interestingly the first few are reasonably easy to solve. Not long before the false security of the crossworder is thwarted and the brain has to go into over-drive. I've bought several of these as gifts for crossword addicts amongst family and friends. They are unfailingly popular. What mystifies me is second-hand copies which claim to be "Acceptable" - have these been filled in in pencil and then erased? Super, super book - very attractively presented too with elegant dust-jacket.
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on 21 December 2004
This is not only a fantastically presented book, the content is flawless too.
Starting with the first Telegraph Cryptic Crossword from June 1925 this book races through the development of the cryptic crossword over the last 80 years - lots of entertaining, baffling and thrilling puzzles here combined with anecdote and entertaining explanations of clues. Loved it!
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on 1 October 2013
Realise this was a very cheap used book, but the crosswords were often filled in with pen so can't even rub them out!! Not worth the postage and not good enough for a charity shop, Have thrown away.
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on 19 January 2012
For anyone who loves to do the Telegraph crosswords, this is a great gift at a great price. I have certainly enjoyed this book myself and have recently purchased another copy for my brother-in-law.
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on 13 June 2013
Good book , a lot has changed and examples of older clues seem very dated now - but I guess thats the idea.
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on 30 September 2016
Great book and perfect for an upcoming 80th birthday present for a cryptic crossword fanatic.
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on 8 January 2016
Perfect condition.
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on 28 January 2010
Didn't get this book, Amazon messed up, but only told us WEEKS after it should have been delivered. Second time it's happened.So now we can't rely on them for present delivery. Got our money back so I suppose that's one thing!
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