The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief.pdf
Alan Connor is an Oxford-educated writer, journalist, television producer, and academic. He lives in London where he writes a biweekly column for The Guardian on crosswords.
A journalist and word aficionado salutes the 100-year history and pleasures of crossword puzzles
Since its debut in The New York World on December 21, 1913, 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 1920s, 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 2008 episode of The Simpsons; and to the continuing influence of people like Will Shortz, the iconic New York Times crossword editor.
He also profiles the colorful characters who make up the interesting and bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers, including a ninety-year-old vicar who still creates devious puzzles for some of the top newspapers, and a man who boasts that he can solve a puzzle in the time it takes to boil an egg.
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 amusementand filled with tantalizing crosswords and clues embedded in the textThe Crossword Century is sure to attract the attention of the readers who made Word Freak and Just My Type bestsellers.