Two Girls, One on Each Knee

Two Girls, One on Each Knee : The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword

3.55 (206 ratings by Goodreads)
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Two Girls, One on Each Knee: A History of Cryptic Crosswords is an audaciously constructed book on the pleasures and puzzles of cryptic crosswords and their linguistic wordplay, from Alan Connor, the Guardian's writer on crosswords. On 21 December 2013, the crossword puzzle will be 100 years old. In the century since its birth, it has evolved into the world's most popular intellectual pastime: a unique form of wordplay, the codes and conventions of which are open to anyone masochistic enough to get addicted. In Two Girls, One on Each Knee, Alan Connor celebrates the wit, ingenuity and frustration of setting and solving puzzles. From the beaches of D-Day to the imaginary worlds of three-dimensional crosswords, to the British school teachers and journalists who turned the form into the fiendish sport it is today, encompassing the most challenging clues, particular tricks, the world's greatest setters and famous solvers, PG Wodehouse and the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition, this is an ingenious book for lovers of this very particular form of wordplay. Alan Connor writes twice-weekly about crosswords for the Guardian.
He has contributed pieces about language for the BBC and the Guardian and works in radio and television, writing with Charlie Brooker and Sue Perkins. His most recent writing was A Young Doctor's Notebook, a TV adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov stories starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 136 x 204 x 30mm | 399.99g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Particular Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846148413
  • 9781846148415
  • 165,876

About Alan Connor

Alan Connor is the author of The Joy of Quiz and Two Girls, One on Each Knee: The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword. He is a British writer, journalist and television presenter. His screenwriting credits include the snooker biopic film The Rack Pack and the comedy-drama A Young Doctor's Notebook, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm. First seen on Channel 4's youth entertainment programme The Word in 1995, Connor later appeared on The Big Breakfast and BBC Radio Five Live and was a BBC News correspondent, appearing on BBC News 24 and The Daily Politics. He is the question editor of BBC2's quiz Only Connect. Connor has worked as a writer for programmes including Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, The Jonathan Ross Show and This Week and writes journalism for BBC News and The Guardian.
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Review quote

Alan Connor's charming, fascinating history... is as elegantly sprinkled with surprising gems as the most satisfying crossword... thoroughly, consistently entertaining... In a single, gloriously decipherable chapter he lays out with perfect clarity the entire range of rules and devices through which cryptic clues work their magic * Sunday Times * It is witty, charming, encyclopaedic and highly readable - and it can be read in any order. Take a chapter or a paragraph, a puzzle or a clue. In each the reader will find something to intrigue and delight. * The Spectator * Two Girls is a lovingly crafted little book, from the table of contents - where chapter titles are hidden in a crossword designed by the great Araucaria - to the index, which skips from "I give up, see frustration" via "primness in American crosswords", to finish with "zookeepers, beleaguered". Connor's wry, good-natured tone and his commitment to the serious business of play make him the perfect guide to a great pastime as it approaches its 100th birthday. * The Times * A lovingly crafted little book ... Connor's wry, good-natured tone and his commitment to the serious business of play make him the perfect guide to a great pastime as it approaches its 100th birthday * Daily Telegraph * Connor writes with great flair ... it is nice to dip in and out of his entertaining essays * Church Times * An ideal stocking filler * Metro * The brilliant new book on crosswords that delivers fun galore whether you're a doer or a duffer * Mail on Sunday * There is something to entertain even the most infrequent dabbler * Financial Times *
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Rating details

206 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 17% (35)
4 35% (73)
3 36% (74)
2 10% (20)
1 2% (4)
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