Monday, September 13, 2021

The Language Lover's Puzzle Book


The Language Lover's Puzzle Book is a wide ranging mixed bag of wordplay and linguistic puzzles by Alex Bellos. Originally released in the UK in 2020, this reformat and re-release by The Experiment is 416 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This book is full of thematically grouped word puzzles to solve and as well as a multiple choice test (lingo bingo). The puzzles range from very easy to quite difficult and they will provide readers with hours of solving fun. 

One of the things I liked about these puzzles in particular was that they've got a linguistic twist. Many of them are set up particularly to allow readers to use given information to logically extrapolate an answer by using patterns and language to build from A to B. Here's an example from the book blurb: 

boru niko = two balls
tsuna nihon = two ropes
uma nito = two horses
kami nimai = two sheets of paper

ashi gohon = five legs
ringo goko = five apples
sara gomai = five plates
kaba goto = five hippos

Now, how do the Japanese say “nine cucumbers”?*
a) kyuri kyuhon
b) kyuri kyuko
c) kyuri kyuhiki
d) kyuri kyuto

The book includes word chains, acrostics, crosswords, and other variations more difficult to describe and further outside the standard puzzle fare.

Four stars. Due to the nature of the puzzles (and because writing in library books is a big no-no) this would probably be less than ideal for library acquisition. It will, however, delight language and word-puzzle fans. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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