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The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Books
Large Print Editions

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The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Books - Large Print Editions

The New York Times Large Print Crossword Puzzle Omnibus, Vol. 2

The New York Times Large Print Crossword Puzzle Omnibus, Vol. 2
Edited by Eugene T. Maleska
Random House Puzzles & Games, (1998)
ISBN: 0-8129-3069-X

New York Times Crossword Puzzles Large Type, Vol. 1
Edited by Will Weng
Random House Puzzles & Games, (1983)
ISBN: 0-8129-1044-3

New York Times Crossword Puzzles Large Print, Vol. 3
Edited by Will Weng
Random House Puzzles & Games, (1986)
ISBN: 0-8129-1598-4


The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Books - Large Print Editions
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - June 12, 2002

The New York Times crosswords are, without exception, universally acknowledged as challenging puzzles. For those of us who enjoy staking our word smithing skills against the talented writers of these puzzles, difficulty in reading regular print can be frustrating. While it may be possible to work the newspapers crosswords using a magnifier - it just doesn't have the same feel as sitting down with the crossword and a pencil (or pen) and having at it.

Fortunately, many of these fantastic crosswords puzzles have been collected and printed in a large print format. Many large print crossword puzzle books that I've seen contain puzzles written for children or beginners. Take my word for it - the puzzles contained in the four books which will be discussing are definitely not for children or beginners. These are the normal, tough puzzles that you would find in The New York Times!

For the purposes of this review, I looked at two different crossword puzzle series, The New York Times Crossword Puzzles (Volumes 1 & 3)and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Omnibus (Volumes 1& 2).

The New York Times Crossword Puzzles, large print editions were edited by Will Weng, a former crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times. Each volume in this series contains 40 puzzles reprinted from the pages of the New York Times. A nice feature of these books is that they have a spiral binding, so that the pages will lie flat. In addition, each book also contains the answer to all the puzzles contained within it. The text is printed in a bold, black type on dull, off-white paper. This minimizes glare, and makes the text easier to read. The text is printed in a 16-point font, and the squares on the crossword puzzle board measures inch by inch, providing plenty of room to write your answer without worrying about running over into an adjoining block. As well, the answer key is printed in at least a 22-point font. There is however, one minor difference between the way the two volumes were printed. In volume one the blank squares are filled in with a mix of black and white dots, whereas the blank squares in volume three are solid blocks of black. This is a minor point, but I find the 'dots' to be distracting as they seem to me to be constantly moving around in their squares.

The volumes in The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Omnibus large print editions were edited by Eugene T. Maleska. Volume one contains 100 crossword puzzles, while volume two has 120 crossword puzzles. In both cases, all the crosswords are reprinted from the pages of The New York Times, and both books contain the solutions to all the puzzles. Unlike the previous series that was spiral bound, these volumes are bound like a traditional book so the pages will not lie flat unless you press down on the binding. However, even without doing this, the pages lie relatively flat, so it should not be much of a problem.

The blocks in the puzzle board are a inch squared in each volume. While this is the same in both books, these two series mates also have a lot of dissimilarities...

The text in volume two is printed in a 16-point font. However, the font used in volume one seems smaller. There also appears to be a difference in the font sized used in the answer keys for the two volumes, in volume one it appears to be given in a 20-point font, while the answers in volume two are printed in at least a 22-point font. This apparent difference in font sizes may be an optical illusion due in part to the fact that while volume two is printed on dull, off-white paper, volume one was printed on lighter paper that is a bit glary. As well, the text in volume one is not as dark, or as bold as that used in volume two. Consequently, I found volume two much easier to read, and much easier on the eye.

Overall, except for some minor points of contention, I loved these books. The crosswords are challenging, the text reasonably big, and the crossword boards offer plenty of room to write in your answers. Now if someone would only publish a large print crossword dictionary...



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