Free book in Sunday Independent (UK)

Apparently this Sunday’s edition (8th June) will include a shortened version of Don Manley’s “Chambers Crossword Manual”. For UK solvers who don’t yet have a “how to solve cryptics” book and think it might help, this is a chance to get some very good advice cheaply.

Independent website page about the book:

5 comments on “Free book in Sunday Independent (UK)”

  1. To be pedantic : it’s in The Independent on Sunday. I mention this because there is an Irish paper called the Sunday Independent. I believe there will be an offer to buy the full text at a reduced price, by the way. Don Manley
  2. The Irish ‘Sunday Independent’ is owned by the same group as own the (London) Independent. A battle is being joined at present a bit like that in Man United in recent years, where another businessman, Denis O’Brien, is accumulating shares, criticising actions of the company etc etc. One of his biggest criticisms is why they do not sell the loss-making (London) Independent.
  3. No doubt this booklet is very useful and interesting to confirmed cryptic crossword fans but I can’t see it converting many with a casual interest in the subject, particularly those who have doubts about their ability to understand the theory.

    The author’s aims as set out on page 7 “Where I am taking you” make it clear that he is writing for beginners, amongst others, yet he lost this (fairly) experienced solver completely on the first page of section 1.

    So I skipped on to section 2 on Definition-type puzzles only to find that his very first example, on page 16, contains an answer that (a) I have never heard of, and (b) is in neither Collins nor the COED. The writer seems aware of this and recommends looking in Chambers where one can find it, assuming one knows what the answer is in the first place. And we havn’t even got to cryptics yet!

    I put the thing aside at this point

  4. Chambers Crossword Manual has been in print continuously for over 20 years in four editions, and I know for a fact that it has helped a lot of people to get started and to move on — but I dare say it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea since we all learn things differently. The IOS Guide misses out all the tutorial and other puzzles, but one hopes that this taster will encourage at least some readers to buy the full volume. I though that the book was nicely presented and that for a freebie this was terrific value (but I would say that, wouldn’t I!). Don M
  5. Rather late to be posting, perhaps, but I felt that a good job was done of abridging Don’s book into a pamphlet. As for the inclusion of some obscure pieces of vocabulary, I don’t think that’s a problem at all. The book does a fine job of unpicking clues in detail, including those that use words that are outside the average vocabulary. The satisfaction of deducing a light from the subsidiary indication is part of the enjoyment of cryptics, and showing the would-be solver that unknown words are nothing to be afraid of is to be commended, I feel. Good job to all those involved in the project!

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