The Puzzle of the Disappearing Puzzles




           295                       295 back cover

295 inside front cover

295 inside back cover



        645                   645 back cover

645 inside front cover

645 inside back cover














Elsewhere in this website, I refer to the paperback original crossword books as "The Rarest Genre." The books have, in some cases, become rarer than rare ... and often, they are literally impossible to find. It makes sense, if you think about it. When a person finishes a book, he or she might sell it, give it away, donate it or keep it. But nobody ever throws away a book ... unless it's one of these. The books are rare because they were discarded after they were finished.

There were four or five such books in the original Avon run. Eventually, Avon 295 (1951) would be reprinted as Avon 645 (1955). The books were illustrated throughout with pictures of models in slightly revealing clothing. (You can click the pictures on this page for larger images.)

The front cover was altered slightly to stress the "Crosswords" aspect of the puzzles, and most notably, the puzzles on the insides of the front and back covers, were eliminated in the reprint.

Otherwise, the book was exactly reproduced -- same puzzles, same illustrations, same number of pages. The only differences were: the title page (as seen here), AND, they had to alter page 124, where the answers to those two puzzles were revealed.

 I'm not sure why they did all that. Printing the insides of the wrapper wouldn't have added that much to the overall cost of the book ... compared to re-typesetting one interior page. Then again, never underestimate the power of cheap.