If you, like me, have always wondered how some people can be so smart as to be able to complete the New York Times Crossword Puzzles (or any other city newspaper’s crossword) on a regular basis, I found the answer!
It is the Random House Webster’s Crossword Puzzle Dictionary! What a find!
I have always enjoyed reading, writing, and word puzzles. Games like Scrabble and Boggle have always been easy for me, and spelling, happily, comes naturally to me. But crossword puzzles are a whole other story! I just don’t “get” them. The crossword puzzle clues are “Greek” to me fifty percent of the time. Of the other fifty percent, I only know the answers to a random few, it seems. That is, until I discovered the Crossword Puzzle Dictionary in the breakroom at work.
Maybe not all crossword aficionados use one of these tools to master the craft, but I bet most have used one ocassionally, and, perhaps, use one on a regular basis.
This is much more than a standard dictionary, or thesaurus. It is organized by the number of letters in a word, and contains the information one would otherwise find in an encyclopedia or an almanac.
Mainly, the entries are words and phrases that might appear as clues in crosswords, with a list of answers listed, first, by word length, and then alphabetically. Also, you will find facts about pop culture, history, science, art, sports, mythology, and many other useful subjects. Information about Earth’s continents, countries, U.S. Presidents, the states of America, months of the year, the Academy Awards, current affairs, etc., are also included.
The Random House Webster’s Crossword Puzzle Dictionary could also be considered a great trivia resource for the trivia buff.
The book we use in our breakroom is the third edition, published in 1999. It is paperback, 864 pages, measuring 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.7 inches.I saw the new edition on Amazon.com for $22.95.
At work, we don’t have enough time on our breaks to complete a puzzle, so we leave it for the next interested person to work on. It has been a lot of fun for me, now that I have a reference that allows me to participate. Before the book appeared, I could only answer three or four of the clues. Now, I do a lot better, and I learn a lot while I’m at it!