Scientific studies have shown that exercising your mind will keep you mentally young. The Best of Cryptograms is conveniently large-print for those of us getting older, which is all of us if you think about it. The large-print is also double spaced giving you plenty of room to write two choices for a letter if mistakes occur (and you are foolish enough to attempt these puzzles with a pen as I do).
Cryptograms are puzzles that substitute each of the 26 letters of the alphabet with another letter. They have been used for war, espionage and for fun as long ago as Julius Caesar. In this book, all of the puzzles are quotes—some from people and some from movies, books and plays. In fact, there are seven chapters: US History; Lines from Movies; Artists, Musicians and Actors; Authors, Writers and Reporters; Science and Technology; Books and Plays; and World History.
With 450 cryptogram puzzles, the Best of Cryptograms will give days of quality entertainment. The only downside to this book is that the puzzles are not graded as Easy, Medium, or Hard as in most puzzle books. I would recommend looking for puzzles that are on the long side and have many one, two and three letter words if you want a less difficult puzzle. You can also look for the author’s name to make the solution easier. For example, I found Martin Luther King Jr by seeing the two letter last word in the US History section. Once I had his full name, I had a thirteen letter head start by filling in those substitutions in the actual quote from him.
There is also a one-letter clue on a separate page from the entire answer that could be useful if you are stuck at the beginning of a puzzle. There is also an answer key in the back of the book. What is nice is the clue and the answer key are in regular print. You will know that you are “cheating” because you have to put on your reading glasses—aptly called cheaters.
The quotes are interesting. Many were new to me. Some were thought-provoking.
Okay, I admit it. I was somewhat addicted to cryptoquotes and logic puzzles from middle school through college. It has been a long time since I last did one. However, as I was doing these puzzles, I remembered why I enjoyed them. Now, thanks to scientific studies suggesting that doing puzzles will slow or prevent age-related thought issues, I can feel good doing what is enjoyable. I think you will enjoy the challenge and have fun too! 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher for a copy in exchange for my honest review.