Looking for cryptic crossword books geared towards someone new
November 27, 2020 7:41 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a book containing a collection of cryptic crossword puzzles geared to someone who is new to cryptic crossword puzzles?

I've recently become interested in cryptic crosswords after watching some Youtube videos of them being solved. I am very new to them and I'm pretty terrible so far. I'd like to get a book containing some relatively easy cryptic crosswords. I'd prefer crosswords that don't have many references to obscure words (or words that might be more geared towards British English - I'm from Canada). I've seen books that go through how to solve cryptic crosswords. That's not what I'm after. I'm specifically looking for books of crossword puzzles geared towards a newbie. Thanks!
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Strongly recommend Random House Guide to Cryptic Crosswords by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon -- it's got guides, mini-puzzles to help you get the hang of things, and then a bunch of full puzzles. Also it's American so no weird British English stuff!
posted by anotherthink at 8:32 PM on November 27, 2020

I quite enjoyed DA’s Puzzled, which is somewhere between a cryptic howto and an autobiography. DA is one of the curlier Australian compilers, so it’s more towards the UK style. Puzzled starts with a master puzzle without answers, followed with chapters that dig into cryptic history, personal anecdote, and explication of the techniques to solve each clue in the original crossword.
posted by zamboni at 8:56 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

(Which I guess counts as books that go through how to solve cryptic crosswords. There’s a short selection of minis in the back?)
posted by zamboni at 9:00 PM on November 27, 2020

The UK answer to this is the Everyman Crossword Books which collect the Observer newspaper Everyman Crossword. It’s the easiest UK newspaper cryptic.
posted by roofus at 11:21 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think the times’ ‘quick cryptic’ is even easier than the everyman - it is collected in several volumes now. So is the guardian’s ‘quiptic’, although it is sometimes less straightforward than it thinks!
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 6:08 AM on November 28, 2020

Are websites okay? If so, some excellent beginners sites with daily puzzles are The Mirror and Simply Daily Puzzles. Both are British, but still very beginner friendly.
posted by daybeforetheday at 9:57 PM on November 28, 2020

If you happen to have a NY Times subscription, in addition to their daily crossword puzzles they also publish several monthly/weekly puzzles that are crosswords or crossword-adjacent. The "Variety" puzzles (weekly) are sometimes cryptics, and they are also sometimes "Puns and Anagrams" which are kind of like cryptics but easier (and with a grid style more like their daily crosswords). On the site or the app, you want to go to "Crossword Archives" to find them. Because they're one among many, you only get a cryptic every two or three months - but the archives go back to 1997.
posted by solotoro at 7:32 AM on November 30, 2020

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