Friday, March 9, 2012

It’s tournament time!

The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, that is!

If you’re a fan of crossword puzzles, you might want to sign up for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn, NY, from March 16-18. A bit too far away? Participants can sign up to solve the puzzles at home, by mail or online.

Those of us who enjoy a good puzzle, but aren’t quite fanatics, can also celebrate tournament time with a good book or movie.

A Clue for the Puzzle Lady  is the first book in The Puzzle Lady Mysteries series by Parnell Hall. Cora Felton is famous for creating crossword puzzles, but her niece Sherry actually constructs them. While Sherry keeps up this ruse, trying to keep her eccentric aunt out of trouble, real life mysteries start to pile up. Books in this series are fun and fast-paced, especially appealing to those who enjoy a solve-as-you-go puzzle.

There are books to help when you’re stuck on a crossword puzzle or word game. Matt Gaffney is a professional crossword puzzle constructor. His book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crossword Puzzles and Word Games, contains puzzles with annotated solutions to increase the reader’s puzzle-solving skills. If you want a puzzle dictionary, look no further than Random House Webster’s Large Print Crossword Puzzle Dictionary.  It’s useful for Scrabble too!

Looking for a movie? Wordplay focuses on the world of crossword puzzles, and the man most associated with them, New York Times puzzle editor and NPR Puzzle Master Will Shortz. This documentary features interviews with famous crossword puzzle geeks (President Clinton, comedian Jon Stewart, documentary maker Ken Burns, Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina), as well as lesser-known participants in the annual crossword puzzle tournament.

Will Shortz may be known for crossword puzzles, but he also loves Sudoku. Have you always wondered how to play? Check out Sudoku Easy Vol. 1, great for beginners. Once you get started, you’ll want to reach for the other books on Sudoku.

You can also have fun working on giant crossword puzzles at Fauquier libraries this month and you can pick up a crossword puzzle based on Fauquier history to take home to enjoy at your leisure.

Happy puzzling!

Amy-Warrenton Library Volunteer

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