[EPUB] ✷ Two Girls, One on Each Knee (7): The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword Author Alan Connor – Rvtrek.info

Two Girls, One on Each Knee (7): The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword Utterly delightful, like a box of chocolates but with anagrams Cloaca booth foxes cunningly show what life is like 1,3,2,10 Every chapter is full of marvels and miracles This is sold in the UK as Two Girls, One on Each Knee which is a much better title than the one that shows on Goodreads Phone App Or at least I hope it is because if it isn t then I ve just reviewed the wrong book. I really disliked this book I do not understand British Cryptics, they completely mystify me This book was all over the place and I seldom understood what the author was talking about It was all clever word play, I m sure Over my head I will pass this on to my mom who can actually finish the New York Times crossword in one sitting and go back to studying linguistics. There is no doubt that the elegant formulation of a clue for a cryptic crossword has a poetry about it They are simultaneously so muchand so much less complicated than the words suggest They are an intensely serious form of play a test of will between a setter, invariably concealed behind some mysterious codename, and their audience, who are sometimes farlike a community than one might assume The problem is that I find crosswords intensely interesting in the abstract, but I have There is no doubt that the elegant formulation of a clue for a cryptic crossword has a poetry about it They are simultaneously so muchand so much less complicated than the words suggest They are an intensely serious form of play a test of will between a setter, invariably concealed behind some mysterious codename, and their audience, who are sometimes farlike a community than one might assume The problem is that I find crosswords intensely interesting in the abstract, but I have never been any good at solving them There is a part of me which resists the whole exercise in the same way that I once resisted my maths homework Often when reading the explanation for a clue I m tempted to fling the whole puzzle across the room Too often I feel like I ve been tricked, as if by sleight of hand I can see that the answer must be hidden somewhere, and I m vaguely aware of how it has been done, but perhaps I just don t have the patience to work it out by myself Except that a patient, attentive, methodological approach often isn t enough either, because cryptic crosswords aren t like mathematics Many clues rely on a certain kind of lateral associative thinking which is difficult to teach, let alone learn via reverse engineering Like most people I can get perhaps halfway through a quick crossword where the definitions are essentially literal, and you either know them or you don t but I am left utterly stumped by the strange verse of the classic cryptic still beloved of the British broadsheet papers.I think I was expecting Two Girls, One On Each Knee by Alan Connor to be somethinglike a guide to solving these puzzles for the general reader This isn t what it is at all it does devote a chapter to introducing some of the typical forms of clues and how to approach them, but this feels somewhat rushed and general As we will later find out there isn t really any single formula that one can adopt when tackling a clue Veteran solvers will notice signs and signifiers everywhere, but even if one has a basic idea of what to do, many clues require a considerable leaps in deductive reasoning, not to mention a dash of humour Incidentally, the answer to the clue that is the title of the book is PATELLA as in the bone found on each knee and as in Pat and Ella , two names for girls Of course Of course For the most part this is a book about the history and cultural importance of crosswords, aimed at the general reader Famous setters and solvers both real and fictional, media depictions from Brief Encounter onwards, the role of crosswords in espionage, the various crazes for crosswords and social concerns this brought up The book even touches upon the different approaches and personalities of some of the most prolific setters, and it offers plenty of clever and amusing clues that demonstrate different facets of the setter s skill Some are rigorous in terms of the rules at work, with no word nor punctuation wasted others are freewheeling, anarchic, and sometimes extremely rude even I can tell that much from the crossword in the back pages of Private Eye magazine The answers to all the clues in the book are given in an appendix in the back, but I still found myself mystified as to how many of the solutions had been reached from the clues on offer There s a certain tendency here to wave away the difficulty of some of the most infuriating clues with the suggestion that this is all part of the mystery and magic of the game And it is But at times it s difficult to avoid the sense of being swindled To take a random example, at one point the book deigns to explain the clue Relaxed when lying in grass topless 5 we are asked to remove the top letter of reed and insert as for when to make the answer EASED But this only reads like half of an explanation Where has reed come from, again There s a sense throughout of it s easy when you know how that anyone aspiring to actually learn the art of solving is likely to find frustrating And this, I think, says something about the contradiction that underlies the nature of the cryptic crossword Because they areabout wordplay than general knowledge, in theory anyone can learn to do them It s no longer the case that a classical education is a prerequisite for the average clue And yet for the most part they remain something of an exclusive pastime In fiction, they are still a signifier of genius To an extent the format preserves its own rarified status, in that the average serious crossword offers little to nothing to the reader who isn t prepared to put in the hours to study its arcane art This being the case, I wonder how manyyears we can expect to see them in the media to some extent they have already been overtaken in popularity by number games like Sudoku and digital variants like Picross But those games operate according to rigorous, specific rules, the nature of which is always clear to every player Solving them is simply a matter of completing an equation, parts of which are already known The charm of the cryptic crossword is that it resists this kind of straightforward processing It is, as far as I can tell, an entirely unique form of art that has no close relatives in gaming or literature That being the case, I suspect the nature of clue writing will endure, even if it has to move to a different kind of puzzle altogether When I first learned that I would be receiving a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways, I was concerned that it was going to be intellectual and boring However, this book was smart, fun, and down to earth In addition to learning all about crosswords in short, succinct chapters, I picked up some tips and tricks to solving along the way A quick read that is perfect for the crossword enthusiast who doesn t quite finish the Sunday Times puzzle. I received this book from Goodreads FirstReads.Very clever This book showed the humour, skills, and tact for creating crosswords as well as their history without being boring or sounding borrowed I was able to pick it back up easily and it made a good few minutes of down time read with the short chapters and condensed background of the craft and it s creators contributors Most enjoyable and I shall appreciate the newspaper printings of crosswords that I see from now on, rest assured The Crossword Century by Alan Connor is a free Goodreads FirstReads advance reader copy of a book I began reading in late, late May Some of my best memories of spending time with my dad is passing a weekend newspaper crosswords puzzle back and forth with a leaky inky ballpoint pen, so I had looked forward eagerly to receiving this book as a kind of resource compendium.Unfortunately, this is a retrospective, overly cheerful sort of Wikipedia article in a book form Though, yes, there are some ti The Crossword Century by Alan Connor is a free Goodreads FirstReads advance reader copy of a book I began reading in late, late May Some of my best memories of spending time with my dad is passing a weekend newspaper crosswords puzzle back and forth with a leaky inky ballpoint pen, so I had looked forward eagerly to receiving this book as a kind of resource compendium.Unfortunately, this is a retrospective, overly cheerful sort of Wikipedia article in a book form Though, yes, there are some tidbits of useful info i.e I knew what the concept of ninas were, but not what they were formally called that Sondheim, Sinatra, and Fry are all avid crossword fans information about wartime codebreakers , it comes off as trying too hard andof a punny eyeroller than a non fiction book you d want to readthan once I won this book through the GoodReads First Reads program You don t need to be an avid crossword solver to enjoy this book All you need is a healthy interest in wordplay and history I have solved crossword puzzles off and on over the years but never caught the fever I wanted to read this book because of my father s interest in this pastime I thoroughly enjoyed learning the intricate quirks beyond the face value of filling in the squares as well as the history of the constructors and puzz I won this book through the GoodReads First Reads program You don t need to be an avid crossword solver to enjoy this book All you need is a healthy interest in wordplay and history I have solved crossword puzzles off and on over the years but never caught the fever I wanted to read this book because of my father s interest in this pastime I thoroughly enjoyed learning the intricate quirks beyond the face value of filling in the squares as well as the history of the constructors and puzzle itself Very well written with a lighthearted humor throughout Very enjoyable For crossword aficionados this would be an interesting read For me, though I enjoy crosswords but don t play them very often, this was still an interesting read I learned a lot about the history and construction of crosswords but also about other types of crossword puzzles like acrostics There is a lot of information and it would seem to be difficult to find enough to fill a book about puzzles but the contents were presented in a way that kept me wanting to keep reading.Well organized with ch For crossword aficionados this would be an interesting read For me, though I enjoy crosswords but don t play them very often, this was still an interesting read I learned a lot about the history and construction of crosswords but also about other types of crossword puzzles like acrostics There is a lot of information and it would seem to be difficult to find enough to fill a book about puzzles but the contents were presented in a way that kept me wanting to keep reading.Well organized with chapters short enough but long enough to cover each subject.A good read 3.5 A nice little collection of mostly cryptic crossword trivia Whilst the book s name looks even dodgier if you ve got a browser tab open with only the first three words showing, the US title is the considerablysober The Crossword Century Which, the author would point out, reflects differences between setters on respective sides of the pond The language of wordplay can be suggestive, even though the setter may with a straightish face insist that any lewdness is all in the solver s3.5 A nice little collection of mostly cryptic crossword trivia Whilst the book s name looks even dodgier if you ve got a browser tab open with only the first three words showing, the US title is the considerablysober The Crossword Century Which, the author would point out, reflects differences between setters on respective sides of the pond The language of wordplay can be suggestive, even though the setter may with a straightish face insist that any lewdness is all in the solver s mind The British setters, that is American puzzles maintain an air of respectability and so eschew clues that fail the Sunday morning breakfast test Definitions can themselves evoke imagery loucher than the answer I wonder if they left out the paragraphs about the Viz crossword for the Yanks.Given the repetition of the info about these national differences in early and final chapters, and a few other recurrences, I suspect the book is compiled from columns or blog posts The author writes the Guardian s crossword blog I don t read it regularly It s less repetitive than some column based books, so they ve at least made some effort with the editing.It s maybe ten years since I d read other books on the history of crosswords, so I didn t mind hearing some points again, but there was sufficient new material to make Two Girls an interesting light non fiction read Connor has amodern gossipy tone than older aficionados, so even when it comes to the old stuff, we learn things that previously went unsaid Sadly Ximenes, the former Observer setter who helped establish many of the rules of British crosswords, rather lived up to his pseudonym in his role as a schoolmaster, being known for his keenness on corporal chastisement.British newspaper crosswords tend to be, well, rather British, with something Wodehousian, sun setting on the Empire, a dash of Carry On about them Whilst various changes have been made over the years to make them a touchcontemporary, chuck out some obsolete references that were only familiar to the 80 age group, Connor is one of the people who, like me, likes the vintage feel and doesn t want to revamp everything It would still have been interesting and a slightly weightier book if he had givenspace to debates about potentially alienating slightly un PC language Another Guardian setter, Arachne, has written about these matters online, although you couldn t call her a prude one of her clues, which swears at George W Bush, is included in this book There is a sort of cryptic crossword how to near the beginning, but unless you are an absolute natural or someone who used to be consistently good and is just in need of a brief refresher it isn t enough to learn from, and there are very few easy examples If you read this, for goodness sake get a paper copy, not an ebook With the possible exception of crossword geniuses like my friend Matthew perhaps there are others in my friends list I m unaware of you will want to flip back and forth all the time and be able to seethan one page at once Extra clues to a puzzle at the beginning appear at points throughout the text, and sets of older or tricky clues are given at various junctures as examples, with answers in the back after the endnotes A Journalist And Word Aficionado Salutes The Year History And Pleasures Of Crossword Puzzles Since Its Debut In The New York World On December The Crossword Puzzle Has Enjoyed A Rich And Surprisingly Lively Existence Alan Connor, A Comic Writer Known For His Exploration Of All Things Crossword In The Guardian, Covers Every Twist And Turn From The S, When Crosswords Were Considered A Menace To Productive Society To World War II, When They Were Used To Recruit Code Breakers To Their Starring Role In A Episode Of The Simpsons He Also Profiles The Colorful Characters Who Make Up The Interesting And Bizarre Subculture Of Crossword Constructors And Competitive Solvers, Including Will Shortz, The Iconic New York Times Puzzle Editor Who Created A Crafty Crossword That Appeared To Predict The Outcome Of A Presidential Election, And The Legions Of Competitive Puzzle Solvers Who Descend On A Connecticut Hotel Each Year In An Attempt To Be Crowned The American Puzzle Solving Champion At A Time When The Printed Word Is In Decline, Connor Marvels At The Crossword S Seamless Transition Onto Kindles And IPads, Keeping The Puzzle One Of America S Favorite Pastimes He Also Explores The Way The Human Brain Processes Crosswords Versus Computers That Are Largely Stumped By Clues That Require Wordplay Or A Simple Grasp Of Humor A Fascinating Examination Of Our Most Beloved Linguistic Amusement And Filled With Tantalizing Crosswords And Clues Embedded In The Text The Crossword Century Is Sure To Attract The Attention Of The Readers Who Made Word Freak And Just My Type Bestsellers


About the Author: Alan Connor

Alan Connor is a British writer, journalist and television presenter First seen on Channel 4 s youth entertainment programme The Word in 1995 he later appeared on The Big Breakfast and BBC Radio Five Live and was a BBC News correspondent, appearing on BBC News 24 and The Daily Politics.His scriptwriting credits include the comedy drama A Young Doctor s Notebook, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm.Connor has worked as a writer for programmes including Charlie Brooker s Weekly Wipe, The Jonathan Ross Show and This Week and writes journalism for BBC News and The Guardian.


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