In a day and age where people are bombarded with new electronic media, doing the crossword puzzle is still something that many millions of people do every week (if not daily). Itís a fun way to kill time when you have a boring commute or have a boring job. But this book isnít boring. Itís Marc Romanoís fun, albeit geeky, trip into the world of crosswords. Crossworld is part history lesson and part therapy session for Marc as he discusses his absolute obsession with doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.
ďI am hopelessly addicted to the New York Times crossword puzzle. Like many addicts, itís taken time to admit I have a problem. The hints I was heading for trouble came, at first, only occasionally. The moments of panic when I realized that for whatever reason I might not be able to get my fix on a given day. The toll on relationships. The strained friendships. The lost hours I could have used to do something much more productive. It gets worse, too. The high no longer lasts as long as it once did; what initially could occupy me for a whole afternoon now takes me twenty minutes or less to get through. I have become increasingly alarmed that the supply of the thing I need is limited. The Times only publishes one crossword per day, and when thatís done I find myself rooting for substitutes Ė the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and New York Sun puzzles, to name just a few Ė that are somehow less satisfying.Ē
Clocking in at around two hundred and twenty-five pages, Crossworld is a fast read. The history of the crossword is often interesting as Marc explains when and where the first crossword puzzle in America was published (he also gives the history of Britainís crossword craze). Itís also neat to learn how the cross word got its name and other little bits of information. Though a little obsessive compulsive, Crossworld is a fun, interesting look at crossword puzzles and Marcís infatuation with them.