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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Book at AARP Covers Crossword Puzzles, Gridlock, and Geniuses

Caregivers and seniors, would you like to have some fun? Here is a puzzle to solve - Who is competitive, funny, "punny" and inventive? Answer: Crossword puzzle writers. At AARP you can read a review about an interesting book "Gridlock: Crossword Puzzles and the Mad Geniuses Who Create Them" by Matt Gaffney. Did you know that no more than one-sixth of the puzzle can be filled with black squares? Or that when the puzzle is turned upside down the pattern of black squares remains the same?

It's all in the book along with the interesting psychology about the kind of puzzling people who write crossword puzzles. The stories about crossword authors as hypercompetitive and obsessive make them sound like "type A" personalities.

The trivia behind the crosswords and the writers might help those of us who do crosswords to picture the authors as they devise themes, design grids, and write clues.

Caregivers and seniors can enjoy reading the review or get the book. Some of the seniors I've assisted have difficulty with vision but I do crosswords with them by reading the clues and number of letters in the word out loud.

For instance, "What's a nine letter word for a square that has a design of black and white squares inside of it, with a list of clues?"

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