Here is a short list of key books for the crossword solver. They are also some of the primary sources I use in clueing up a puzzle grid. All are currently in print (some in later revisions), and should be readily available at any good bookshop.
For the online player, it's worth noting that Oxford University Press have produced a CD containing The Concise Oxford Dictionary, The Oxford Thesaurus, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations.
This section will be expanded to include CDs and other relevant media - however links to other web sites will be grouped together in the "Links" section.
Pub: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Alphabetically self-indexing, both by the philosopher and the philosophy. As one would expect, quite simply the best in its field. Superb index and list of entries.
Pub: Chambers Harrap, 2000.
Facts, figures, tables, people, places - masses of information clearly presented and easy to use. Probably the best book of its type. An essential reference tool.
Pub: Penguin Books, 2000.
Good old, reliable old Pears. Packed with information on all sorts of subjects, the standard compact reference tool for over a century. Compared with Chambers Book of Facts, Pears offers a little more depth of information where Chambers covers a wider range of facts in less detail. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
Pub: Chambers Harrap, 1990. (My own copy is 1990, but it is constantly updated)
A massive 20,000 entries - kings and artists, philosophers and astronauts, scientists and warriors. People from all walks of life from the ancient world to the present day.
Pub: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Words are grouped by length (up to 16-letter words!), alphabetically within the group. No definitions are given. There is an extensive and extremely useful section of lists, divided by subject and covering a wide range. Easy to use and the answer to a solver's prayers. Ask for this one for Christmas!
Pub: Chambers Harrap, 1999.
This presents words in the aaa format, where can represent one or more letters. Not easy to use but, once mastered, can be very valuable. Let down by its presentation.
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