Classicist Peter Jones and David Dare-Plumpton (alias Plausus, crossword compiler of The Times Listener) have concocted what could amount to an alternative Christmas – you probably won't have time for the Queen's Speech or a turkey. Their 50 'cruciverbally exquisite' Latin crosswords are arranged in five 'courses', from Facillimum to Difficillimum. The clues are in English (phew).
The History of the Crossword
The World's Most Famous Word Puzzle
The crossword puzzle dates from 1913, when the first ‘Word-Cross’ appeared in New York World. The rest of the story is told here by a master of the modern cryptic puzzle, John Halpern, aka Paul (The Guardian), Mudd (The Financial Times), Anon (The Times) and Dada (The Telegraph). He also describes different types of crossword, profiles the great setters, giving examples of their creations, and provides guidance on setting and solving crosswords.
Bradford's Crossword Key Dictionary
'Eight letters, the fourth letter is x'. In answer to such old refrains, this dictionary lists over 480,000 words, organized into chapters by length – from four to fifteen letters – and then sorted alphabetically according to each letter position within the word. So you can take your pick from flexible, flexibly, fraxinus, gloxinia, inexpert, quixotic and Vauxhall. There is also an introduction with tips on solving crosswords from the Dictionary's namesake, crossword expert Anne Bradford.
The Long and the Short of It
How We Came to Measure Our World
In the seventh century a yard was as much a reckoning of the worth of some land as a set measure of its dimensions and, although the term came to mean a unit of distance, the 36-inch standard was not settled until 1855. This light-hearted compendium explores the origins of our weighing, measuring and timing systems from the Babylonian calendar to the metric system.
The Centenary of the Crossword
The Story of the World's Most Popular Puzzle
In this celebratory volume, one of the world’s foremost setters explains how crosswords have evolved and grown in popularity since the appearance of the very first ‘Word-Cross’ in 1913. He also presents an international selection of 50 sample puzzles (in addition to Spike Milligan’s one-letter ‘Crossword for Idiots’), provides tips on solving the different types of cryptic clue and profiles some of the greatest setters, editors and champion solvers.
Advice, Puzzles and Activities to Keep our Brains Active in Later Life
The acclaimed puzzle and brain training expert, author of The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book and the BrainedUp.com website, Dr Gareth Moore has devised activities and puzzles to help ageing brains stay sharp and reduce the memory-related effects of getting older. After a simple introduction to how the brain works and how it changes, there are chapters on keeping your brain fit, and advice and exercises for memory, learning, staying positive and concentration.