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on 17 June 2010
On the whole very good but it has a lot missing, i.e.naming countries and their capitals (capitals are shown but not to which country they relate) various anniversaries, authors, playwrights etc. various gods and religions, Greek and Roman alphabets and numbers also not shown. Personally although this book is helpful I do not find it anywhere as good as the 30 year old Crossword solver I disposed of thinking this would give as much if not more information.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 8 February 2014
I was recently doing a cryptic crossword and needed to find a nine-letter synonym for `deferential`, so I consulted this rich multi-course wordhoard for a sneaky tip-off. Under the following entry - Defer(ence), Deferential, Deferring - I found twenty words and terms related to the concept, but not the one I finally came up with under my own steam - which was, in case you`re interested, `kowtowing`.
So why wasn`t it there? Beats me.
I`ve had the same experience with this overrated book on various occasions. Undaunted by the encomia from the likes of Araucaria (RIP), Azed, and a suitably unremorseful Colin Dexter on the back cover, I am here to say that this dictionary, with its marvellous lists - of Architects, Capitals, and Devices, for example - looks like a damn good idea, but in practice is a frustrating, optimistically formatted, ultimately inconclusive lame duck.
It`s fine if you want to learn a plethora of arcane words and phrases - many of which, let`s face it, are so obscure that, due to the book`s come-one-come-all format, you`ll need to look them up in a dictionary after encountering them here - but it so seldom has le mot juste one is searching for as to render it much less helpful than its high reputation would lead one to believe.
I have beside my laptop a modest, compact Pocket Thesaurus from Penguin. In its nicely laid-out 500 pages or so I have, over the last couple of years, had more luck than with this 900-page lexical extravaganza. Naturally, this bigger, longer book has far more in it, but if you`re searching for that elusive word that will prevent you from climbing the walls or suffering a verbally sleep-banishing night of insomnia, you won`t necessarily find it within these pages.
And that can`t be right, can it?
There`s much here that is worth keeping on one`s bookshelf, but as the Crossword Solver`s Dictionary of choice - as it appears to advertise itself - it is, as it were, more Down than Across.
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on 5 November 2001
This book is every crossword addict's dream. No mere list of synonyms, the words in this book have been culled from actual crosswords from almost a lifetime's study of these puzzles. Anyone using this book will soon come to appreciate how it has been put together. Whether it's a foreign word, archaic term or simply a word with a recognised association with the words in the clue, you will find this book indispensable in solving crosswords quickly and with ease.
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on 2 August 2001
This is an excellent book for the use for crosswaord solving. This will be the third that we have bought, the other two have just fallen apart due to the amount of use they have had.
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on 5 June 2000
With this beside you cryptic crosswords become so much easier! Anne Bradford constructed it and keeps it up to date by keeping note of what crossword compliers actually use. Much much more helpful than all the books with potentially useful lists.
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on 13 February 2015
The version I have describes itself as "The Kindle Edition". I am using a Kindle Fire HD, 7" and I cannot recommend that edition of this book. I have the print version and that is VERY good, five stars! But the Kindle version that I have is not good because of the search method. I believe I am right in saying that the method of searching for a word is to enter that word in the SEARCH (magnifying glass) area available at the bottom of the screen. As a test, I put in the word PASTA. I really couldn't believe how long it took. It was about 4 minutes, and that was on a new Kindle Fire HD. Four minutes might not seem like a long time - but how long would a check of the same word have been in a book? Ten seconds?
What Bradford's needs is an App, like Chambers. The Kindle version of Bradford's is not fit for purpose.
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on 13 January 2015
After 10 years or so my indispensable paperback version of Bradford's is now falling to bits, so I decided to try the Kindle edition and I'm really pleased with it. The kindle search facility just searches the headwords, so you get straight to the correct entry. You can also add notes for future refererence, eg if you want to add into a particular list an additional matching word which you've come across. (On revisiting the page you don't immediately see the word you've entered, but you do see a note marker, and can easily 'click' on it to see the word you entered).
I bought it around Christmas time when it was £2.99 - might be worth keeping an eye out for special offers.
I don't have a Kindle, but I do use the Kindle app on my iPad, and what with Bradford's and the Chambers app now both on it, I feel I'm ready to tackle any crossword!
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on 7 April 2011
We are now on our 2nd copy of Anne Bradford's 'Crossword Solver's Dictionary' the 2005 edition, which has has so much use in the past 6 years that it is in a sorry condition indeed, being entirely held together by a combination of elephant tape, sellotape,and super-glue, but have to reluctantly concede that its decline is terminal, and as we are are both avid crossword fans (yes retired you will have guessed correctly)we cannot conceive being without our 'Bradford's'. As soon as this review is finished an order will be placed with Amazon for the latest edition.

Being not the 'brightest' crossword 'Johnnies' on the block we need back-up and having tried other 'crossword aid' books and electronic gadgets, we always revert back to Braford's which accompany's us wherever we roam 'crossword solving' internally or externally which is a bit of a bugger when it is left outdoors overnight in the rain - no wonder it's condition has deteriorated.

As far as we are concerned Bradford's is the solver of choice and for all but the most avid of General Knowledge puzzlers, arguably the only one that is needed.
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on 22 October 2015
I have used this solver for many years and this is the third edition that I have bought. I was surprised at how much lower the quality of the current edition is compared to the 2003 edition. this edition is much thinner than previous and the paper it is printed on is inferior. All of the lists that were so useful have gone. My previous much thumbed version had fallen apart and I threw it away before this one arrived.....I now regret doing that as I would rather have kept using that, even with the separate pages, than using this edition. very disappointing.
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on 2 November 2009
I already have five copies of this book! - 4 in paperback and one hardback version. They are all "somewhat worse for wear" having been used so much over the last twenty years or so! I will order another two copies tonight to compliment my Franklin/Collins Crossword Solver, which is excellent in itself but cannot be added to. I write in all my BCSD's and then, laboriously have to transfer additional answers to the next book(s).
Please could the publishers make it possible . subject to a monitored data base, for the many users like me to add further entries from other crossword sources? At no cost! There would then be an even more formidable volume of resources for crossword solvers!
Finally thanks to Anne R Bradford - who had the initial idea and had the idea first.
Don't let's lose the momentum you created!
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