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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 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:
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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 fifty 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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.
    "

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