PDF NEW Crossworld One Man's Journey into America's Crossword Obsession å Marc Romano
If you re one of those whose eagerness
to et to the New York Times crossword puzzle every day sometimes worries a little you ll want get to the New York Times crossword puzzle every day sometimes worries you a little you ll want 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 uite taken with himself and rarely lets five pages o 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 *if there s such a phenomenon as America s crossword obsession I sure haven t noticed it Sudoku sure crosswords Still this book ives an engaging history of the Times crossword details the process for building the puzzles and profiles some of the builders most notably Brendan Emmett uigley who s revered among many solvers and also Betrayals gives some prettyood tips for honing your puzzling skills This book certainly made me crossword mad again I downloaded a crossword app to my Android phone Shortyz I believe it was And spent uite 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 Betrayals: The Unpredictability of Human Relations 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 uite 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 ineneral felt like it tried too hard and I often would Bat Ode get lost in his compound sentences and asides to the point where I would have to restart paragraphs in order toet where he had initially been Bitter Choices: Blue-Collar Women in and out of Work going with them Romano tried to sueeze too much into each sentence instead of breaking things up to make them palatable I am not saying I don t appreciate aood long sentence or that I am too dumb to Barrio: Photographs from Chicago's Pilsen and Little Village 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 too do one Well I really enjoyed parts of this book in spite of the fact the author seems like an arrogant sexist creeper douchebag Anyone know a 6 letter word for a smug mildly chauvinistic painfully self aware writer Oh yeahROMANO 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 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 Cool book that s Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War gotten me into Crosswords Made me dive into it 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful20 out of 5 stars Interesting but the false modesty and arrogance overwhelm October 1 2007 I really want to rate this 25 starsDo you have a friend who says things like Yes I may haveotten 800 on the math SAT but I only Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French got an embarrassing 690 verbal If so then you might be able to tolerate Romano s prose If not be forewarned unless you can complete the Saturday New York Times puzzle in 10 minutes you will be put in your place over and over by his false modesty He says things along the lines of It once took me a humiliating 20 minutes to do a Saturday NYT puzzle If. 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 Romanooes where no Number 2 pencil has one before as he delves into the minds of the world’s cleverest crossword creators and puzzlers and sets out on his own uest 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 uigley the wickedly ifted puzzle constructer and the Virgil to Marc’s Dante in his travels
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help people discover just how fun it is to do this pastime recruiting people topeople discover just how fun it is to do this pastime recruiting people to ame rather than making people feel like outsiders who shouldn t even tryOne thing He denigrates Sudoku as being just a math puzzle what s wrong with math puzzles but Sudoku has absolutely nothing to do with math There is no math involved at all Any 9 characters or shapes would do I ve seen some using letters Numbers are just easiest for us to recognize and pattern uickly not
to mention that it crosses language barriers bymention that it crosses language barriers by Anglo Saxon numerals which *are commonly used than the English alphabet Sudoku is first and foremost a logic puzzle and could *commonly used than the English alphabet Sudoku is first and foremost a logic puzzle and could to even a word smith who hasn t completed 3rd rade mathSo to sum up I don t recommend this book Watch the movie Wordplay about the tournament Or better yet Will Sholtz wrote a companion book to the movie Wordplay The Official Companion Bookwhich I haven t read but might be a better insight in to the tourney I can t believe it could be worse 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 Black Nationalism: The Search for an Identity going with it How s that for faint praiseIive upLife is too short to waste on crappy books 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 Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism 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 aeneral 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 What is it with authors writing about their neurosis with Boggs: A Comedy of Values 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 uest 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 thereatest 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 rid 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 iven 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 Berlioz and the Romantic Century gifted but boring cast Romano include. Moments of panic when I realized that I might notet my fix on a Building Ideas: An Architectural Guide to the University of Chicago given day5 The toll on relationships6 The strained friendships7 The lost hours I could have used to do something productive8 Itets worse tooDOWN1 You’re not just playing a Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F): Canadian Art: Volume I (A-F) game 2 You’re constantly broadening your intellectual horizons 3 You spend a lot of time looking at and learning about the world around you4 You have to if you want to develop the accumulated store of factual information you’ll need toet through a crossword puzzle 5 Puzzle people are nice because they have to be 6 The you know about the world the you tend to Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture give all things in it the benefit of the doubt before deciding if you like them or not 7 I’m not saying that all crossword lovers are honest folk dripping withoodness 8 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 irl I’d look for the fellow in the crowd with the daily crossword in his hand. .
It s humiliating for him what
S That Mean To Thethat mean to the of us He oes further to make fun of and out right condemn anyone who doesn t follow is own code of crossword conduct If you look a word up you re cheating and he can t imagine why you would do that Perhaps so you can learn words you don t know Maybe to fill in a tough spot in the puzzle so you can continue to finish the rest of it and still have fun He implies that this is akin to just copying the answers from the next day s paperThere are also facts that *I really have to uestion He says he can a Monday puzzle in something like 60 seconds It would *really to uestion He says he can finish a Monday puzzle in something like 60 seconds It would longer than that just to write the answers down if someone were reading the clues to you Add in the time to flick your eyes from the clues to the Bulletproof Feathers grid and it becomes absurd I can speed read but your comprehension deceases when you do In a crossword puzzle there s no context to help you when you misread a word One letter difference changes the meaning entirely In addition even the easiest puzzles have clues that have than one answer that is commonly usedenetic material can be RNA or DNA mid east leader can be EMIR or AMIR or any of a number of different spellings there are several five letter GREEK LETTERs It takes time to Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store go back Even doing a World s Easiest Crossword level puzzle that uses a 6thrade vocabulary and no words over 5 letters and reading only the across clues not needing to read the down clues would take me than 60 seconds to fill out if my writing were to actually be remotely legible and in the correct little boxes But then I m a moron I m only a WednesdayThursday level solver I Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities 1580-1620 guess Romano is some freakyenius who not only can read and write in tiny boxes elsewhere on the page at the same time but he has ESP and always knows exactly what the puzzle author was thinking when composing the crosswordGiven that there is a lot of interesting information about the history of the New York Times Crossword puzzle in Chameleon Hours general and Will Shortz its current editor in particular I came to respect admire and actually like Shortz who comes off as a nice reasonable easyoing fellow There s information about who creates these teasers the difference in puzzles across the Atlantic and the anatomy of a puzzle I also found the description of what a crossword puzzle tournament is like and the uirky people who attend to be entertainingI found myself over and over wishing this had been written by someone else who couldn t possibly compete in the tournament or would come in last or that Romano had left his own role out of it and was objective While personal anecdotes and opinions can add to a story make it human his arrogance and randiness he is constantly on the prowl are not just distracting they re offensive Instead of being appropriately impressed by and interested in all the contestants who compete I think even the person who comes in last place is probably pretty darn Chicago Architecture (Architecture Urbanism) good I could only focus on him By the time I finished the book I almostave up solving puzzles because I felt like any reasonable person would realize I am too stupid and ignorant for real crossword puzzles and would be better off sticking to E Z word searches and connect the dotsThere s no doubt Romano is extremely intelligent he is this expert solver and he implies English isn t even his native language But does he have to rub it in every other sentenceLast thoughts the book was a little longer than it needed to be but it does include almost all of the puzzles from the competition which was fabulous I would have liked to see a few puzzles perhaps a sample from the New York Times for each day of the week and puzzles from some of the other publications very briefly mentioned like the Washington Post While I certainly didn t buy the book for the puzzles it would be very interesting to compare methodologies I would have liked Romano to spend a little time discussing puzzles in other papers Also acknowledging that people have to start somewhere and encouraging people to improve their skills with recommendations on how to do so would have been much appropriate than his. Hrough 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 suares Crossworld will tell you – and with luck save your marriageCROSSWORLD | by Marc RomanoACROSS1 I am hopelessly addicted to the New York Times crossword puzzle2 Like many addicts I was reluctant to admit I have a problem3 The hints I was heading for trouble came at first only occasionally4 The. ,