The Experiment The Language Lover's Puzzle Book: A World Tour of Languages & Alphabets in 100 Amazing Puzzles
The Experiment The Language Lover's Puzzle Book: A World Tour of Languages & Alphabets in 100 Amazing Puzzles

The Language Lover's Puzzle Book: A World Tour of Languages & Alphabets in 100 Amazing Puzzles

By Alex Bellos

$16.95

Publication Date: November 9, 2021

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100 challenging puzzles for would-be codebreakers that also celebrate the uniqueness of language—from hieroglyphics to the sign language of silent monks

100 wonder-filled word puzzles that thrill and tantalize with the beauty, magic, and weirdness of world language

Whether you’re a crossword solver, cryptogram fan, Scrabble addict, or Sudoku savant, The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book is guaranteed to tease your brain and twist your tongue. Puzzle master Alex Bellos begins in Japan, where we can observe some curious counting:

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

Bellos finds the intrigue—and the human element—in a dizzying array of ancient, modern, and even invented tongues, from hieroglyphs to Blissymbolics, Danish to Dothraki. Filled with unusual alphabets, fascinating characters, and intriguing local customs for time-telling, naming children, and more, this is a bravura book of brainteasers and beyond—it’s a globe-trotting, time-traveling celebration of language.

*The word endings depend on shape: Flat things end in -mai and spherical things end in -ko. Cucumbers are long things (like ropes and legs), so they end in -hon. The answer is (a)!

About the Author

Alex Bellos holds a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Oxford University. His bestselling books, Here's Looking at Euclid and The Grapes of Math, have been translated into more than 20 languages and were both shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book prize. His puzzle books include Can You Solve My Problems?, Puzzle Ninja, Perilous Problems for Puzzle Lovers, and The Language Lover's Puzzle Book. He is also the coauthor of the mathematical coloring books Patterns of the Universe and Visions of the Universe. He has launched an elliptical pool table, LOOP. He writes a puzzle blog for The Guardian, and he won the Association of British Science Writers award for best science blog in 2016. He lives in London.

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 416 pages

Publisher: The Experiment

ISBN: 9781615198047

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