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Download Terribly Twisted Crosswords (Mensa®) epub

by Henry Hook

It happens to every crossword lover at some point: a feeling of sameness sets in, and the standard puzzles just don’t pack enough punch anymore. What’s needed is a twist and a tweak—and that’s exactly what Henry Hook, creator of the original Twisted Crosswords collection, provides! These out-of-the-ordinary crosswords offer a higher level of challenge, with some diagrams that literally break out of the box—including “Around and Abouts” that go in a circle. For “Marching Bands,” the solver has to figure out where one answer ends and another begins. And there are also Honeycombs; Intersections, with two clues per number; Mazes; Pathfinders, where the words make right-handed turns; and many more.
Download Terribly Twisted Crosswords (Mensa®) epub
ISBN: 1402732716
ISBN13: 978-1402732713
Category: Humor
Subcategory: Puzzles & Games
Author: Henry Hook
Language: English
Publisher: Sterling (June 1, 2007)
ePUB size: 1603 kb
FB2 size: 1995 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 321
Other Formats: mobi doc lit txt

For cruciverbalists who want an added challenge, this collection offers 70 puzzles in 21 categories. And each of those 21 types of puzzle requires not only clue-answering ability but a new way of thinking about how "crosswords" can be constructed.

Part of the extra fun is merely figuring out the best strategy, which is rarely a concern with regular crosswords. As you noodle out better and better how to solve a particular type of puzzle, you feel more and more satisfaction for the accomplishment. Some puzzles initially appear to be impossible to get started on, but if you put enough brain on it you (well, I) can always get a wedge in. Those A-ha moments are gratifying, or maybe I'm just easily pleased.

The collection offers various levels of difficulty, although most of the puzzles are not specifically designed for people who've never played clue-and-answer puzzle games such as crosswords. Some puzzles are tough throughout, others fall faster the more answers you fill in.

And, if you're an experienced pencil-game puzzler, you will also feel a deep admiration for how difficult it must have been to construct some of these puzzles. Some grids are entirely filled in, with no black squares! Others require you to think in zig-zags, others in C-shapes, others in circles.

I don't remember what I paid for this book, but it wasn't enough.

Update of April 27, 2009: I still highly recommend this book, but I do point out an error. On page 54 of my edition, in puzzle number 47, titled "Quadrants," the names for the eight northeast clues and the eight southwest clues have been reversed.
If you want a way to shake sleep inertia early in the morning, work one of Henry Hook's Terribly Twisted Crossword Puzzle while sipping a strong cup of coffee. The puzzles are varied and challenging but fair. My wife and I normally work crossword puzzles in ink and do not use any form of reference. Henry Hook has forced us to make one concession--we work his puzzles in pencil! We just hope he is busy writing more!!
very happy with product
Henry Hook's "Terribly Twisted Crosswords" has about 20 different varieties of crosswords, none with a single standard crossword grid. This generally serves to make the puzzles more challenging to finish, because the solver often won't know how long an answer is and/or where exactly it belongs, and most puzzles have no theme to give you a leg up. Hook's clues tend to be a little off-kilter, more indirect than the clues in a standard early- to mid-week crossword. The answers in these oddball grids also tends to be zippy--one puzzle included PIRSQUARED, the math formula, for example.

"Quadrants" is one of the varieties I enjoyed the most. In these puzzles, the grid's segmented into four quadrants with a center quadrant that interlocks with the other four. All the answers are 6 letters long, but you have to strategize to figure out where they go by noting the letters they have in common and where those letters fall in the words.

Another with consistent answer lengths is "Crazy Eights," all 8-letter entries. The answers circle around the clue number clockwise or counterclockwise, and as with "Quadrants," you work off of the letters in common to deduce the answer placement. "Honeycombs" take a similar form, but with 6-letter answers circling the clue numbers in the grid.

"Jigsaw" puzzles are a bit like "Quadrants," only with nine...ninths (is there a word for a section that's a ninth of a square?) containing 5-letter words held together by four 15-letter entries that span the grid. Similar pattern recognition skills are needed to determine where the answers fit.

The "Maze" puzzles are similar to "Marching Bands"--there are two Across clues for each row, and the letters are checked by words traveling through the grid in maze fashion ("Marching Bands" grids have concentric bands rather than one long "Maze" string of answers).

An easier but fun puzzle type is the "Intersections" puzzle. It looks like a standard 13x13 crossword grid, but the clues are given in pairs. If the number 1 appeared in the top left square, all you would know is that 1-Across and 1-Down had that pair of clues, but figuring out which goes where is your job.

"Crossing Paths" were the hardest variety for me. Four zigzagging paths make a lap around, but answer lengths aren't given so you have to work forward and back from the first and last clues for each path. Each path contains about 10 answers, so good luck finding your way!

Second hardest were the "Angling" variety. You're given the first and last square numbers, but not told where the answer takes a 90° turn or which end the word starts on. There's partial checking of the answers via shaded squares that contain a quote, but it takes a good long while to fill in enough to complete the quote so it can help with the rest of the answers.

There are several more varieties of puzzles, each with its own twist on the crossword format.

If you find that standard crosswords don't stretch your brain enough, crossword folks will often encourage you to "come to the dark side" and delve into cryptic crosswords. If you prefer American-style crossword clues over parsing cryptics' clues, though, this book may be just the ticket.
Fantastic crossword variations. I'm speechless at the way Henry Hook managed to fit all this together.