New Chambers

If anyone’s considering a purchase of Chambers Dictionary for barred-grid puzzles, you might like to know that the 11th edition is due to be published on 22 August. Unlike the 2006 edition which matched the new corporate colour scheme but had relatively few new words compared to 2003, this one fits the 5-year cycle for new editions that’s been going since 1983. The puzzles involved normally change their ‘offocial reference’ gradually over a period of a few months – usually enough time for you to ask for it as a Christmas present.

Prices at Amazon UK are confusing at the moment – they have one version with a £40.00 RRP reduced to £26.40, and one with a £35.00 RRP reduced to £31.50.

12 comments on “New Chambers”

  1. How long would one expect to wait before “Chambers 2003 is the primary reference” changes to 2006 or 2008?
    Similarly, I wonder if a setter who uses an answer listed only in a newer version than 2003 could have a puzzle rejected on the grounds that it effectively forces solvers to go and buy a newer dictionary?
    1. As far as I know, none of the barred-grid puzzles use the 2006 edition as an official reference. Presumably they all found out or correctly guessed that there would be a new version this year.

      My guess is that the change from 2003 to 2008 edition wil be about January 2009. I think Listener puzzles will have a period when some say 2003 and some 2008, though if the usual policy of keeping everything in the last version is maintained, they could change what they say any time. From memory, Azed usually mentions the change date in the slip 2 or 3 months in advance.

      I suspect a puzzle that relied on something new in the 2008 version would be held back for a while rather than rejected (always assuming the ‘pipeline’ is short enough for this to matter!).

  2. All this Chambers stuff is far too complicated for me. I’ve asked my kids to get me Chambers for father’s day next Sunday. Should I:

    a) ask for the 2003 edition
    b) ask for the 2006 edition
    c) wait till xmas and ask for the 2008 edition
    d) smile graciously when I get a jumper and socks anyway.

    I presume that, whatever edition I get, I need the standard dictionary and not the concise, crossword, crossword lists etc.

    Please help

    1. Life would be simpler if barred puzzle preamble did away with tradition altogether and offered us “ is the primary reference”.
    2. I’d suggest option (c) and a nice thick jumper for Father’s Day – just right for the British summer.

      Tom B.

  3. 7dpenguin: I’d recommend option (c). Anax – that assumes everyone has the internet immediately available (as distinct from, say, going to a library and using the internet) – I think we’re not there yet and probably never will be.
  4. I think the future of electronic versions is probably:

    which is just starting up – only has Harrap’s French dict yet.

    The CD-Rom version is OK but could have been better. I don’t think this version will be updated for 2008.

  5. In case anyone doesn’t know, the full internet version of the OED is available to most people with a library card.

    A wonderful service!

  6. On further thought, 7d penguin, if you could bear to forgo the jumper, I think you’d find Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary (7th edition) helpful as an aid to advanced puzzles as you wait for Chambers.

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