Wednesday, November 14, 2007

La Settimana Enigmistica- Italian puzzles

So much bad news is coming out of Italy that a mere vegetable such as myself tends to be overwhelmed.

In such cases, one needs to turn to the tried-and-true stress beaters.

I was first exposed in the Sixties to this puzzle magazine, La Settimana Enigmistica, when I lived in Italy as a very small Eggplant. Even at that time it had caught my attention at the newsstand due to the timeless attraction in its graphics and content, although I never bought it or even perused it.

Time has passed, as it will. In recent years I have taken up puzzles, both in English and Italian. But La Settimana remains unique, and as they themselves realize, inimitable. The variety is unsurpassed. There are jokes, cartoons, pretend-you-are-the-judge legal situations, contests, play-the-detective situations with recurring characters, along with the usual crossword puzzles, anagrams, cryptograms, spot-the-differences, even sudoku (timeless doesn't mean out of time); and other, creative puzzles. Of special interest are the rebus, in which curiously metaphysical pictures are linked to words of a certain length which must form phrases according to a certain scheme.

For those of you who are upper-intermediate and above in Italian, an excellent choice. I don't know how easy these are to find (I might e-mail them later, stay tuned). I myself buy them at the Green Cross Pharmacy on Hanover Street in Boston's North End. If you know of a vendor selling Italian publications, ask him or her if they can procure it.

Their site is here.