A collection of all kinds of word puzzles to keep even the most ardent puzzle enthusiast entertained for hours.
You'll find all your old favourites such as standard crosswords and cryptics, as well as less common puzzles including SuperSpiral, Anagramix, Pyramid Building and many more.
This is a cool little book. I'm a bit of a crossword fan and it certainly contains a number of crosswords which I found fun - well-constructed and challenging, but not frustratingly impossible. Some of the crosswords are based on themes, some are general, plus some cryptics.
But what I found surprising was how much I really enjoyed the other types of puzzles too. There's a fair few different ones, some of them I'd never come across before. I've become a convert! I really liked the Freewheeling, Shrink-a-Word and Elimination puzzles. Cool stuff!
For a small book it's got loads to keep you thinking and puzzling and coming back for more. All in all, great variety and fun.
Like most people, I love puzzles, so I was more than happy to pop my hand up for the opportunity to review a copy of PuzzleBeetle Vol 1. Ok so as far as books go, this one is like any other, a nice shiny cardboard cover, crisp white pages and well made...as one would expect with a book I like the simplicity of the cover, a nice green and as the title suggests: a crossword puzzle and beetles in the middle, rather fitting really. And at $14.00 RRP it is well within ones budget. This simple little book would make a really great gift!
On to the Puzzles Okay so turns out, I'm not really that clued up when it comes to puzzles after all crosswords I can do, elimination not a problem, super spiral yep I can even do them. But apparently that is where my puzzling ability ceases. Partially because some of the puzzles in the book I have never heard of, but mostly because they are over my head... however that is what made the book so great! It didnt mean I could pick it up, do all the puzzles in 5 minutes and then it would be discarded. And if it all becomes to much and you just can't work out the answers....yep they are right there in the back of the book for you to check *or cheat* if needed. Further more, its not just a sit in a corner on your own and do puzzles book, unless you want to... it is one you can share and get help with (well in my case it is).
This fantastic book is also small enough to fit in your handbag, yet big enough that you can actually see what is in it. My only issue was the lack of a contents page, as this is the first thing I always go for.
For me the book had a great selection of puzzles that will keep me puzzling for hours to come. I would be keen to purchase future volumes when they come.
I enjoy doing puzzles so when PuzzleBeetle came available I put my hand up. I subscribe to That's Life and complete their puzzles every week. It seemed strange doing puzzles without the incentive of a prize or the pressure of a deadline.
Most of the puzzles involve unscrambling words. This has never been a strength of mine so I referred to the answers in the back of the book more than a person with a university degree should do. As several of the puzzles were different from anything I had done before I found when I did subsequent puzzles of the same style they were easier.
My favourite puzzle was illimination where you eliminated words according to the instructions. This suited my methodical way of thinking. I also liked the number wheel for the same reason.
Although all the puzzles in the book were written by Kiwi Pam Hutton there weren't the same clues and answers repeated several times like in other puzzle books or magazines tend to.
The book is a great compact size to keep in your handbag or glove box for when you have a few minute to kill. It would also make a great gift for a retired or bedridden person.
Being a huge Puzzle Competition freak I was excited to try something new. I have to admit I don't usually do puzzles for fun as don't see the point unless there is a potential prize at the end.
Having done That's Life and Lucky Break every week I found a majority of the puzzles rather easy. It was rather novel to have the answers at the back to stroke my ego. The whole book took a little over a day doing a couple each time so not very challenging (although I do not do Cryptic Puzzles).
I really enjoyed the "Elimination" "Letter Drop" and "Pyramid Building". The rest were ok to do. I only had to use my magic gadget a couple of times so not bad overall. I also enjoyed doing new puzzles that I have not had an experience with before and so it was rather neat having to read how to do them.
I would not pay $14 for this book. If maybe they made it into a competition book where you got to send in an entry form then I would contemplate it depending on the prizes - but for what it is now that is not worth it. For $14 I would expect more then 60 puzzles.
I was raised in a bilingual house where Maori was the main language, English running a distant second place, and because of that my English skills didn't get much of a workout until I was out in the workplace having to try and talk as fast as the skinny white boys around me. I say that without any racism - most of my workmates were white and skinny - fact, not prejudice. They were an amazing bunch of guys who made sure I wasn't disadvantaged in any way, and helped me learn all I could to improve my English skills.
Because I was a stubborn cuss and had decided it was part of enhancing my Mana to be able to talk to anyone of this land - Maori or European, we are all Kiwis now - I took classes, read books and dictionaries, and did crosswords and other word puzzles where others were reading comics or fantasy novels. So, here I sit at my ripe old age with a vocabulary most people would find impractical and a little snobby when I start using them in conversation, but they sure do help me win a lot of games of Scrabble and Upwords!
So, this puzzle book really captured me, and even with my expanded vocab, I still found many of these puzzles very challenging. That was the appeal of it, for me. I wanted a puzzle book that would stretch my mental muscle, and stretch it sure did. I am ashamed to admit that in the end I had to resort to looking at the answers for some words, but I was glad to see that most of the ones I could not figure out myself were mainly words from old English and borrowed from other languages - not common words at all.
Some of the puzzles in this book are basically expanded versions of "7 Little Words", where you have blocks of letters that are part-words and you need to assemble them to make the words given by the clues. The added dimension was that the completed puzzle contain a mystery word as well. I loved this series of puzzles. It was also fun to see many types of puzzles I had never come across before.
I wouldn't say this is the most eye-catching or stunning puzzle book I have come across, and I usually have a few lying around on or under the coffee table in the lounge. The cover is a little bland, but really the contents are the important bits and as we all know, you should never judge a book by it's cover. At the end of the day I found this book to be a great way to keep my aging brain active in between other jobs. A bit repetitive in places, but some stunningly novel puzzles that gave me many hours of struggle and a fine sense of satisfaction when I finally beat them.
I got this to review. When I first opened it and had a flick to the back, saw that it was 80 pages and thought that that was great. But closer inspection showed that while there are 80 pages, 20 of them are answers to the puzzles, so you're only get 60 pages worth of puzzles.
I personally felt that it was too repetitive, but given that it is only Volume One, I shall hold out hope that Volume Two has a completely different set of puzzles.
Some of the answers were a bit hard for me, and while this was more a vocabulary thing, even my mum who has a bigger range of vocabulary struggled in helping me figure out some of the answers.
I didn't find the book engaging enough to keep me coming back for more and want to finish all the puzzles. I've finished 10, but I'm in no hurry to do any more at the moment, this is a book that will sit around until I find it again, do a couple of puzzles and then get waylaid again.
For the price of $14 I wouldn't buy this. I didn't enjoy it enough and it felt to repetitive for my tastes. I may grab this if it's in the discount bin, other than that, it's not my first choice.
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