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Full disclosure: I love puzzles.

Specifically, I love crossword puzzles. As a bit of a word nerd, I love the process of working my way through a crossword, bringing together bits of trivia and deft wordplay to steadily fill in that black and white grid. I am a cruciverbalist at heart.

But puzzling is far more than just crossword puzzles. The world is filled with different sorts of puzzles – riddles and ciphers, cryptics and jigsaws and Rubik’s Cubes, chess problems and Sudoku grids – all with enthusiastic fans devoting their free time to discerning solutions.

A.J Jacobs loves puzzles too. So much so, in fact that he has written a whole book about them and the people who love them.

“The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life” (Crown, $28) is a fascinating journey through the puzzling world, a look at the many different varieties of puzzle and the people whose lives are shaped by them. All of it viewed through the eyes of one very dedicated – and very talented – chronicler.

Jacobs connects with iconic figures from the puzzling realm. He travels the globe, meeting legendary puzzlemakers and competing against some of the most gifted solvers in the world. And he digs into what it means to solve a puzzle, why we as humans are so fascinated with pushing ourselves toward difficult solutions, deriving pleasure from the intellectual pain.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 11:58

Great escapes

Bangor Escape Rooms opens its doors

BANGOR You're in an unfamiliar room. You might be with friends or family or even perfect strangers. The door shuts behind you and a clock starts running.

You have 60 minutes to make your escape.

Published in Buzz

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