November 28, 2007

The Heaneyland holiday gift guide

Somehow I seem to have failed to plug all of the puzzle books of mine that came out this fall. This obviously will not do.

If you enjoy trivia, but feel that most trivia books don't leave nearly enough bits of silver dust all over your floor, your salvation has arrived in the form of Scratch and Solve Trivia Games. On each two-page spread, you're given a list of items that can be sorted into two groups (for instance, Muppets from Sesame Street vs. Muppets from The Muppet Show), and you try to pick as many of the items that fit one of the given categories before getting three wrong. Or, you know, make up your own rules, nobody's watching.

Also trivia-related is Trivial Pursuit Crosswords, 50 crosswords whose theme entries are all answers to Trivial Pursuit questions (as are many of the non-theme entries as well). There are two typos in this book that I know of: On page 15, the clue for 67-Across should be "1970 role for Raquel"; and on page 16, "unit" should be "units" in 6-Across.

But you're looking for gift ideas, and I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love to get a copy of Crasswords: Dirty Crosswords for Cunning Linguists. I wrote about a third of the puzzles in the book; other contributors include Brendan Emmett Quigley, Patrick Berry, Frank Longo, Matt Jones, and many others, including two well-known but craven constructors who opted to use pseudonyms. (There are also a few typos in this book that I know of, but I can't find my copy at the moment to list the page numbers, so I'll update this entry later with the corrections.)

Also out recently is Howl, a book of humor pieces about dogs, to which I contributed "Excerpts from Great Books in the Canine Canon", another chance for me to trot out my literary pastiche tricks. (This was the project for which this piece was rejected as being too dark. "It's a book for dog lovers," I was reminded. "No biting off chihuahuas' ears.")

If you absolutely must buy something I didn't write, might I suggest something lavishly expensive so I'll get a big fat referral fee?

Posted by Francis at 11:30 PM
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