.FREE ♲ Crossworld: One Man's Journey into America's Crossword Obsession ♀ eBooks or Kindle ePUB free
If you re one of those people whose eagerness to get to the New York Times crossword puzzle every day sometimes worries you a little, you ll want to have a look at this book, which profiles some of the puzzle obsessed among us The book isn t without its problems for example, if you re annoyed by an intrusive narrative voice, you ll want to steel yourself for Romano s he s quite taken with himself, and rarely lets five pages go by without his reminding you that he s a polymath who speaks a few languages and went to Yale Also, I think Romano overstates the popularity of crosswords if there s such a phenomenon as America s crossword obsession, I sure haven t noticed it Sudoku, sure, but crosswords Still, this book gives an engaging history of the Times crossword, details the process for building the puzzles and profiles some of the builders most notably Brendan Emmett Quigley, who s revered among many solvers , and also gives some pretty good tips for honing your puzzling skills. I did enjoy parts of the book, especially the profiles of Will Shortz and other prominent figures in the crossword world On the other hand, I found the author pretentious, self absorbed, and mildly sexist I was also so very uninterested in his creepy thoughts about every woman he was attracted to. I am trying really hard to like this book The writing is very stilted and sometimes downright convoluted, making it less enjoyable than I thought it would be And, I m not sure if it s supposed to be reportage or memoir It should be way interesting than it is, and yet I keep going with it How s that for faint praise I give up.Life is too short to waste on crappy books. Anyone know a 6 letter word for a smug, mildly chauvinistic, painfully self aware writer Oh, yeah.ROMANO I heart crosswords and loved the movie Word Play Many of the puzzle people in the movie are clever and likeable Can t say the same for this author. As a daily NYT crossword er and weekly NPR Sunday Puzzle listener, I picked up this book to learn about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament After finishing, I realize I probably could ve just read parts of chapters five and seven to get what I d hoped for The writer seemed to fashion himself a cruciverbalist Hunter S Thompson in relaying his first day of ACPT experiences through an Ativan induced haze His tone was arrogant, entitled, condescending, and a strong reminder of why I usually don t read books written by white men it s only my third in two years, after a history of the Black Panther Party and a general overview of Judaism both of which included much less personal commentary and exactly zero pick up artist play by play I enjoyed reading about Will Shortz s career and interests in puzzles For others wanting to learn about the ACPT, I d recommend any number of Internet articles and thinkpieces that can be found through a Google search. This book certainly made me crossword mad again I downloaded a crossword app to my Android phone Shortyz, I believe it was And spent quite a bit of time playing in between reading sections of Crossworld However, the writing itself kind of bothered me Mr Romano just kept sounding way too self congratulatory and self involved I got the impression he was trying to be self deprecating, but he came up short and just sounded like rather too much of a braggart, to me His writing felt pretentious, and he loved telling stories about who he had rubbed elbows with I did, however, appreciate that he made a point to use quite a few of the most common crossword fill words in his writing at least, I noticed a bunch of them smattered throughout the book Either it was a case of him being far too entrenched in crosswording, or he did it intentionally either way, I appreciated it But his writing in general felt like it tried too hard, and I often would get lost in his compound sentences and asides, to the point where I would have to restart paragraphs in order to get where he had initially been going with them Romano tried to squeeze too much into each sentence, instead of breaking things up to make them palatable I am not saying I don t appreciate a good, long sentence, or that I am too dumb to get it, or that they were run ons, no just that they were too long winded, I think The writing could have been smoothed out a bit However, I did enjoy the overall concept of the book it was nothing like I expected It felt like a journey through the world of cruciverbaling, which is what the author intended from his subtitle And the ending really tied everything up into a neat bow, and made me appreciate the entire book a bit For now, though, I don t want to talk any about crosswords I just want to go do one .FREE ⚖ Crossworld: One Man's Journey into America's Crossword Obsession ♃ Sixty Four Million People Do It At Least Once A Week Nabokov Wrote About It Bill Clinton Even Did It In The White House The Crossword Puzzle Has Arguably Been Our National Obsession Since Its Birth Almost A Century Ago Now, In Crossworld, Writer, Translator, And Lifelong Puzzler Marc Romano Goes Where No Number Pencil Has Gone Before, As He Delves Into The Minds Of The World S Cleverest Crossword Creators And Puzzlers, And Sets Out On His Own Quest To Join Their RanksWhile Covering The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament For The Boston Globe, Romano Was Amazed By The Skill Of The Competitors And Astonished By The Cast Of Characters He Came Across Like Will Shortz, Beloved Editor Of The New York Times Puzzle And The Only Academically Accredited Enigmatologist Puzzle Scholar Stanley Newman, Newsday S Puzzle Editor And The Fastest Solver In The World And Brendan Emmett Quigley, The Wickedly Gifted Puzzle Constructer And The Virgil To Marc S Dante In His Travels Through The Crossword InfernoChronicling His Own Journey Into The World Of Puzzling Even Providing Tips On How To Improve Crosswording Skills Romano Tells The Story Of Crosswords And Word Puzzles Themselves, And Of The Colorful People Who Make Them, Solve Them, And Occasionally Become Consumed By Them But Saying This Is A Book About Puzzles Is To Tell Only Half The Story It Is Also An Explanation Into What Crosswords Tell Us About Ourselves About The World We Live In, The Cultures That Nurture Us, And The Different Ways We Think And Learn If You Re A Puzzler, Crossworld Will Enthrall You If You Have No Idea Why Your Spouse Send So Much Time Filling Letters Into Little White Squares, Crossworld Will Tell You And With Luck, Save Your MarriageOSSWORLD By Marc RomanoACROSS I Am Hopelessly Addicted To The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Like Many Addicts, I Was Reluctant To Admit I Have A Problem The Hints I Was Heading For Trouble Came, At First, Only Occasionally The Moments Of Panic When I Realized That I Might Not Get My Fix On A Given Day The Toll On Relationships The Strained Friendships The Lost Hours I Could Have Used To Do Something Productive It Gets Worse, TooWN You Re Not Just Playing A Game You Re Constantly Broadening Your Intellectual Horizons You Spend A Lot Of Time Looking At And Learning About The World Around You You Have To If You Want To Develop The Accumulated Store Of Factual Information You Ll Need To Get Through A Crossword Puzzle Puzzle People Are Nice Because They Have To Be The You Know About The World, The You Tend To Give All Things In It The Benefit Of The Doubt Before Deciding If You Like Them Or Not I M Not Saying That All Crossword Lovers Are Honest Folk Dripping With Goodness I Would Say, Though, That If I Had To Toss My Keys And Wallet To Someone Before Jumping Off A Pier To Save A Drowning Girl, I D Look For The Fellow In The Crowd With The Daily Crossword In His Hand For the crossword obsessed individual, Marc Romano shares his journey into the world of crosswords He begins with a history of crosswords and then details his personal journey to competing at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament Scattered throughout are some of his theories about how to become a pro crossword solver and the moral superiority of those who engage in crosswords.There were a few interesting things about this book I learned a bit about how crosswords are created, the terminology of crosswords, and the insane level of skill that some people have at solving crosswords.Other than that, I didn t care much for this book I was expecting something a bit lighthearted and funny But the first couple chapters on the history of crosswords were a bit of a snooze Then Romano seems to take himself pretty seriously in the tournament portion of the book, alternately relaying his trials and triumphs in the tournament portion, in between advancing his theories about how people who attend crossword tournaments are ethical than the rest of the population and have developed their awesome crossword solving abilities through a complicated evolutionary process He also makes a lot of side comments about how crosswords should be done alone without the assistance of Google etc which I found to be irritating.Added to that, the whole thing just seems a bit uneven and meandering He focuses on a few specific people in the crossword industry to the exclusion of others, and I would rather have gotten a cross section of the various different types of people who attend these types of tournaments.Ultimately, I think Romano was picturing his audience for this book as the elite crossword doers of the world, not those of us who enjoy taking a stab at the Monday or Tuesday version in the New York Times My interest just wasn t that deep. What is it with authors writing about their neurosis with games and puzzles First came the Scrabble obsession in the book World Freak Now Marc Romano bows down to the Gods of crossword puzzles in his quest to finish high at the American Crossword Puzzle tournament It wasn t that I didn t enjoy the book As a crossword puzzle doer, I can appreciate the skill and cognitive speed of some of the greatest puzzle solvers in the world, but Romano s lack of depth on the characters, other than Crossword God Will Shortz, made for a very boring book Spliced with stories from the 2004 tournament in Stamford, CT, Romano s work is part history and strategy of the crossword puzzle, including the differences in skill and difficulty between American and British puzzles Romano s main strength was how he provided a behind the scenes look in not only solving but construction of puzzles from the grid, to the fill to the cluing, which relies much on whoever the editor of the puzzle may be In fact, Romano uses many pages to illustrate how Shortz has changed the face of crosswording by ramping up the difficulty in the puzzles from Monday to Saturday by adjusting the clues for the words He does the same thing at the tournament for the three classification finals Each skill level is given the same fill but different clues Overall, the book was entertaining, but maybe there are just not as many eccentric personalities in crossword solving as there is in spelling bees and Scrabble tournaments to keep it interesting Romano kept repeating his mantra about how honest and solitary the crossword puzzle solver was Surely out of the supposed 64 million doers a week Romano cites an inflated number I m sure , there could be someone inerestnig than the gifted but boring cast Romano includes. How much of a nerd am I Not only do I do the NY Times crossword everyday, now I ve also read an entire book about crossword culture This book provides some interesting details about the emergence of crosswords in the early part of the 20th century, the way that their structure and norms vary nationally, and the style of various editors of the NY Times puzzle over time including Will Shortz s decisions to make the puzzle steadily difficult through the week and to include pop culture and sports as legitimate clues Perhaps most interesting were the sections on the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament held annually in Stamford CT About 500 people attend, falling into 3 different flights, the C flight being pegged roughly to Monday and Tuesday puzzles, B to Thursdays and A to Saturdays The best solvers can do an A level difficulty puzzle that is the size of a Sunday puzzle 21x21 in 5 10 minutes While I enjoyed learning all of this, I have to say that I did not like the author s writing style He jumped all over the place in terms of topic perhaps that is how great puzzlers think , and was too willing to congratulating himself on his own puzzling prowess, while at the same time providing a lot of excuses for his less than top flight performance Still, I enjoyed the book, especially the second half which focussed on the tournament I d love to go sometime and see what it s like in person Wordplay, a very good documentary on this topic that was out a few years ago, would be an excellent companion to this book.