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Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8): A Memoir of Love, Exile, and Crosswords (2003)

af Sandy Balfour

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1848111,453 (3.82)17
This work is a personal reminiscence and a guide to solving crossword puzzles. Each chapter starts with a clue and uses anecdote, history and autobiography to solve it, in the process describing something of what it means to love England. In the process, readers encounter The Best Crossword Clue Ever, The Most Beautiful Clue in the World and the eccentric personalities behind such legendary compliers as the Guardian's Araucaria and the Times's Ximenes.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
I wish Balfour had concentrated more on his love of crosswords and less on the memoir. The crossword discussion and examples were fascinating and educational. I've learned a great deal on the art of solving the cryptic variety of crosswords. By the end of the book my chances of solving these clues had gone from none to slim. The deciding factor now is a matter of culture. So many of the clues in the British puzzles relate to British culture and/or slang as well they should. I'm fairing better with the clues in the Games Magazine cryptic crosswords which is a huge step forward for me. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 31, 2014 |
A man who did not know cryptic crosswords but started going out with a woman and both she and her father are cryptic fans. Sandy started to do them and became really addicted to them. His book tells the story of his growing love for cryptics at the same time as explaining some of the different types of clue and how to solve them. It is intertwined with his work as a journalist that takes him travelling always wtih a handy crossword, his love for his girlfriend and children and ultimately he meets all the setters. A lovely book but particularly for those who want to join the cryptic club.
  saligo | Dec 10, 2009 |
This is a clever, quirky little book. The cover says it is a memoir of love, exile and crosswords, but it actually defies categorisation. It isn't really a memoir - the writer is quite selective about which doors of his life are opened to the reader. We know he becomes a crossword afficianado and has a deep fondness for his adopted country (England, he is an ex pat South African) and for his "girlfriend", a title that becomes somewhat grating as the book progresses and she becomes central to his life and the mother of his chidren. But along with a few snippets about his professional life, that's about all he gives away about himself. The story is more a series of recollections of moments in time which he describes for their life importance and for their association with where he was at the same time, in his development as a crypiic crossword afficianado. The originality and cleverness of the book is in the way it is a history of the development of cryptic crosswords and and their setters, and a "how to do them" guide, (arguably a fairly dry subject) which is flavoured up with human interest by being embedded in some important events in the writer's life. Definitely recommended for those who love doing cryptic crosswords and those who aspire to do them. Probably of less interest to those who consider crosswords to be only for nerdy types who need to get a real life. (Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose - answer, rebelled - if you can't work it out and are itching to know why, buy the book!!) ( )
  barbaretta | May 15, 2009 |
Balfour, Sandy, 1962-/Television journalists > South Africa >/Biography/Crossword puzzles
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
I read this a couple of years ago and enjoyed how he described the way that he became accustomed to british culture as he also came to understand cryptic crosswords. So it is not a book about cryptic crosswords, although there are a lot of tips, but about how a non-brit became anglicised partly through his developing skills at doing the cryptic crossword and vice/versa. I enjoyed it so much that I left it with an american friend who I was visiting but have often thought I would like to dip back into it. ( )
  awomanonabike | Feb 26, 2008 |
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This work is a personal reminiscence and a guide to solving crossword puzzles. Each chapter starts with a clue and uses anecdote, history and autobiography to solve it, in the process describing something of what it means to love England. In the process, readers encounter The Best Crossword Clue Ever, The Most Beautiful Clue in the World and the eccentric personalities behind such legendary compliers as the Guardian's Araucaria and the Times's Ximenes.

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