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Download From Square One: A Meditation, with Digressions, on Crosswords Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample From Square One: A Meditation, with Digressions, on Crosswords Audiobook, by Dean Olsher Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.8 out of 52.8 out of 52.8 out of 52.8 out of 52.8 out of 5 2.80 (5 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dean Olsher Narrator: Dean Olsher Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780307577511
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From Square One is Dean Olsher's captivating and in-depth exploration of the cultural history, psychology, and even metaphysics of crosswords -- their promise of a world without chaos and uncertainty.
It is often repeated that more than 50 million Americans do crossword puzzles on a regular basis. Skeptical of that claim, Dean Olsher does his own research and finds that the number is nearly dead-on. Filled with lively, original reporting, From Square One disputes the widely held belief that solving crosswords helps prevent Alzheimer's; in fact, the drive to fill in empty spaces is more likely a mental illness than a cure. While "puzzle addiction" is usually meant as a lighthearted metaphor, the term contains more than a nugget of truth.
Olsher looks into the origins and traditions of this popular pastime, which made its debut in a New York newspaper in 1913. Or did it? Along the way, he takes readers inside the making of a crossword. He also revives the quest of musical-theater legend and puzzle constructor Stephen Sondheim to find an American audience for a British crossword style that demands a love of verbal playfulness over knowledge of arcane trivia.
Informative, engaging, and often surprising, From Square One is a unique and enjoyable read for puzzlers and nonpuzzlers alike. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith | 4/7/2010

    " Lots of fun. Informative about different crossword constructors and ways clues are developed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Turi | 11/29/2009

    " I've read a few crossword books in the past couple of years (although I haven't really been doing puzzles lately) and this one doesn't disappoint. A rambling, but always interesting look at puzzling's history and possible future, with a bit of focus on "cryptic crosswords." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brent | 10/12/2009

    " Subtitled, "A Meditation, with Digressions, on Crosswords." Well, maybe there's just not that much to say about crossword puzzles--some amusing digressions, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 7/7/2009

    " Whether you are a bona fide word nerd or simply curious about what gets a person hooked on crossword puzzles, you'll be amused by this entertaining memoir.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 6/30/2009

    " How to Write a Book About Nothing by Dean Olsher. "

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About the Author

Dean Olsher has been a broadcaster for more than thirty years, most of which he has spent in public radio. He was an arts and culture correspondent for NPR News as well as the creator and host of The Next Big Thing, a popular national show. Olsher is currently a visiting professor at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.