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The puzzle compendium is a puzzle book that is produced by the Puzzler group, published on a monthly basis. I sometimes buy a copy in Tesco and I always grab one at the airport when off on my travels. I like to do puzzles when I have a spare few minutes just to pass the time and keep my mind on the ball. This book is available in the magazine aisle in the supermarkets, WHSmith and newsagents and retails currently for £2.85. There's often a free pen on the front, which is usually a good thing when I pick my holiday copy up at the airport because it's one of a few things I always forget to pack! It is available on a subscription too.
The book is aimed at adults, with some puzzles being far easier and less time consuming than others so there's a good range in there depending on how much brainpower I'm prepared to put in and how much time I've got. There are a small number of easy junior puzzles too and these are clearly labelled in the book by a little picture of a cartoon man.
Easier and less time consuming puzzles include spot the difference and word searches and those are usually found taking up a half page section of the book rather than a full page. Harder and more time consuming puzzles include skeletons which are something I always love to try but can never do! These are a blank canvas crossword and need to be shaded in accordingly. They have symmetry to follow too and are confusing! There are codewords too, where each letter of the alphabet has a number 1 to 26 in the puzzle and you need to work out which number corresponds to which letter. The puzzles that the publishers deem to be tough are clearly labelled by a stamp symbol and I'll give these a go but only sometimes finish them. If I don't finish the puzzle and that one has a stamp next to it, I don't feel too bad because I know it's a toughie!
There are a range of puzzles that have different levels of difficulty too meaning that the book covers a wide audience. For example, there are quick and simpler crosswords through to very difficult crosswords with cryptic clues. Other puzzles included are blackouts (where you shade in boxes of letters to make up a resulting crossword puzzle), double acrostics (where the letters making up answers to clues each have a numbered square and once solved these transfer across to make up a famous person's name or a famous saying), arrow-words (a favourite of mine, where clues are given in the puzzle itself and an arrow points to where to write the answer), kriss kross puzzles (where given words are slotted into the puzzle according to how they fit) and logic puzzles (where there are a series of clues that you have to solve in order to work out the correct scenario). The puzzles are weighted appropriately - for example, there are far more normal quick clue crosswords than the harder and time consuming cryptic crosswords.
Finally - the answers are in the back if you feel the need to cheat (or as I say, just 'check' the answers to make sure I'm on the right lines....!) I'm not keen on puzzle books where it says 'answers in the next edition' as I then feel that I have to buy the next version - clever publishing.
There are over 170 puzzles in the particular compendium I have in front of me now which I think is very good value for £2.85. I find that a book will come home with me after a week's holiday and still have plenty to complete in it - bear in mind that we usually have a lazy holiday too on sun loungers for a lot of the day - I probably spend around an hour per day maximum on holiday completing puzzles in it and there are still plenty left when we arrive home.
I love the puzzle compendium - it gives a very good selection of puzzles and is good value with there being such a high number to have a go at. There's plenty of selection too so I feel that there's something on offer for everyone. I rate it 5 dooyoo stars as I feel it represents excellent value for money - it's definitely one of the better puzzle books out there in my view.
Thanks for reading :o)