Review: Cluetopia by David Astle

Review: Cluetopia

Author: David Astle

Published: Allen & Unwin November 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from November 10 to 12, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Most readers enjoy word games, and few are more challenging than a crossword. Cluetopia celebrates the 100 years since the puzzle first appeared in the New York World as a column filler on a slow news day in 1913.

This is a book for crossword fans and trivia buffs, broken down into short chapters shaped by, “a landmark crossword for every year”, from Arthur Wynne’s small kite shaped diagram printed in 1913,to the first crossword puzzle book published in 1924, to the crossword that unwittingly shared national secrets during wartime and the first home-grown crosswords compiled by a Brisbane mum of seven.

The facts are fascinating and the writing is surprisingly accessible. Astle has a fine sense of humour and the tone of the text is almost conversational. Cryptic crossword fans will enjoy the unusual chapter headings titled with clues like, “Mad poet mugged by banjo player sees red while eating pickles (3,4)”

Astle also provides historical context to each chapter with snippets of world events and words added to our lexicon during the period. I would have preferred these had been placed at either the beginning or the end of each chapter rather than at the bottom of the first page, which I found distracting.

Interesting and entertaining I really enjoyed Cluetopia, though I do rather wish Astle had included a few crosswords in the book, just as an added bonus.

Available to Purchase

Allen & Unwin I BoomerangBooks I Booktopia

via Booko


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 04:38:26

    Sounds like something I’d enjoy. Thanks for the review!



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