The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest To Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life

Crown. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593136713. $28. MEMOIR
This multifaceted memoir explores Jacobs’s (Thanks a Thousand) personal relationship with puzzles but also discusses the broader history (and controversies) of puzzles. Jacobs is himself a crossword enthusiast, but for this book he branches out to research puzzles outside his wheelhouse (math and word puzzles; Rubik’s Cubes; mazes; riddles) and engagingly interviews puzzle experts. He also offers his own theories as to why people love to puzzle and why the English language works so well for word puzzles. This book shines for its interactive format, featuring more than 100 historical puzzles, plus 10 original puzzles created for the book by Greg Pliska (hints and solutions are included). It also offers a challenge: Jacobs has hidden a secret puzzle in the book and says that the first reader to solve it will win a cash prize of $10,000.
VERDICT A fun, interactive exploration of the history and hidden world of puzzles. A must-read for puzzle enthusiasts of all skill levels.
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