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A Guide to the Weird and Wonderful Language of Crossword Puzzles

by David Bukszpan


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"Crosswordese in all its glory has never been so entertaining!"—Will Shortz

A celebration of the weird and wonderful language of crosswords, and the lexicon's fascinating checkered history, for crossword puzzlers and language lovers of all kinds.

Crossword puzzles have a language all their own. This entertaining guide to grid lingo will improve your game while it fills in the mystery and history of this unique and playful idiom. Author David Bukszpan brings his deep word game knowledge and engaging educational style to this exploration of crosswordese and its evolution from antiquity to the age of LOL and LIZZO.

Far more than a crossword puzzle lexicon, Crosswordese is full of fun entries, including rich sections on particular types of puzzle clues and answers from pop culture, sports, science, and more. Each chapter also includes a puzzle custom-made by the author and exclusive to the book! This is the perfect gift to help novices up their skills and reward veterans with a deeper appreciation of this delightfully quirky vocab.

BEYOND CROSSWORDS: Hooked on crosswords? Now you can discover even more to enjoy about the history and trivia behind the terms and clues you love.

THE CROSSWORD MOMENT: With crossword puzzles hotter than ever, and available in venues new and familiar (of course the New York Times, but also The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Slate, Vice, smartphone apps . . . ), we live in a golden era of crosswordese. This is a readable and richly entertaining guide to speaking the language and upping your game.

PACKED WITH INFORMATION: The text is written in a clever way that delivers ANSWERS and [clues] as you read along. Packed with trivia, sidebar-rich chapters cover groups of clues on subjects like food, travel, music, movies, and more.

FOR BEGINNERS, EXPERTS, AND WORD NERDS ALIKE: Beginners will find it a boon to their solving skills; veteran crossworders will learn more about the vocabulary they employ every morning; even folks more interested in language than puzzles will find plenty to say AHA about.

DIP IN AND OUT: Structured for easy use, with spotlights on common and cryptic crosswordese from Latin terms to coffee words, sports lingo to Simpsons characters, and phrases like DOH [Homeric interjection?] and OOF [Gut reaction?].

PUZZLES INCLUDED: The author has also specially created a dozen puzzles based on the book's content and included them inside the book!

Perfect for:

  • Gift or self-purchase for crossword puzzlers of all skill levels
  • Lovers of Scrabble, Wordle, Bananagrams, Words with Friends, and all varieties of word and brain games
  • Pairing with crossword puzzle books for adults as a birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, or any special occasion gift for word nerds and language enthusiasts
  • Going offline to enjoy some classic screen-free crossword fun
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