Comments: Cross, part 2

"A square made up of five-letter words should take the averagely talented smith about an hour or so to construct....

I don't know where he's getting that estimate; this one took me less than ten seconds to make:"

Now, wait a second here. He very specifically does *not* specify *wordsmith*. For your averagely-talented tinsmith, for example, an hour may be right on the money.

Posted by Rick at October 27, 2005 03:23 PM

Egad. I'm enjoying your snark, but this may be a case where one should just blow up the whole damn barrel rather than waste bullets on the fish.

Did it occur to no one that this book, given its subject, might be read by people who cared a little bit about *words*?

Posted by Rick at October 27, 2005 03:33 PM

Okay, now that we have determined that this book is krep, who's going to write the real book about puzzles and puzzlers?

Posted by Eric Berlin at October 27, 2005 03:44 PM

You're gonna have to give the public time to forget this one first.

Posted by Toonhead! at October 27, 2005 05:10 PM

It wouldn't be that hard to compile a book of essays about crosswords by assorted people who know puzzles and puzzlers. Why, you'd scarcely have to venture beyond the blogosphere to line up writer/editor types who know crosswords and have something to say about them. Sure, we might have to split the royalties 12 ways, but I daresay it's doableā€”if we can control the many colossal egos involved. Who's in?

Posted by Orange at October 27, 2005 07:29 PM

P.S. Holy Tango is the 40,825th hottest-selling book at Amazon, vs. #74,299 for Crossworld. Take that! (I won't tell you where Will Shortz's Easy Sudoku book ranks because I don't want you to cry.)

Posted by Orange at October 27, 2005 07:32 PM

Orange: I contributed to a book mentioned here.
http://forums.nytimes.com/top/opinion/readersopinions/forums/crosswordsgames/todayspuzzle/index.html?offset=21328

I know of two more books on crosswords in the works, one by a constructor, the other by our favorite radio guy. And the documentary is rumored to be good.

Posted by Ellen at October 27, 2005 08:49 PM

And there's always Coral Amende's book, which is apparently not well-loved by Amazon user reviewers, but I enjoyed it. (Of course, I pretty much know everybody quoted in it, which probably makes it automatically more interesting.)

As for Holy Tango's Amazon rank, it was hovering around its usual 100-and-something-thousand spot earlier today, so don't get too excited on my behalf. (^_^)

Posted by Francis at October 27, 2005 11:19 PM

Enh. I'm not a word-puzzle jock. This took me about a minute.

BOGUS
OLIVE
GIOUR
UVULA
SERAL

I don't know if the bad secondary spelling GIOUR is really permitted, and I had to go to the web to convince myself that SERAL was a word.

Posted by ACW at October 28, 2005 05:42 PM

Actually, my research shows that while Romano is correct that words were used to amuse from the very day they were invented, they were not used to confuse until seventeen days later, and the first successful attempt to use words to befuddle their hearers occured a full seventy-three days later. The incident in which the man was kept awake all night by his partner whispering "tiger" actually happened to Marc Romano himself, in 1997.

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