HAMILTON, Kathleen

O Canada Crosswords (Bluefield/Raincoast $16.95)

What’s a 14-letter word for a person who makes crossword puzzles? According to Kathleen Hamilton of Victoria, author of O Canada Crosswords (Bluefield/Raincoast $16.95), the answer is cruciverbalist.

Three years ago she started making her popular North of 49 Crosswords, now syndicated in the Toronto Star and across Canada. “I got frustrated with American puzzles and their endless references to U.S. politics, history and sports,” says Hamilton. “So I decided to stop complaining and start creating.” She found software to create puzzles on the Internet and away she went.

Clues and answers in Hamilton’s latest 115-course feast rely on Canadian spellings (colour), geography (Moose Jaw) history (Riel) and politics (Nunavut). She says her puzzles are comparable in difficulty to the weekend crosswords in the Globe & Mail or New York Times. “I know Canadians love Canada, passionately,” she says, “so I hope my crosswords reinforce and add to their knowledge. Popular media tends to muffle our uniqueness; I’m doing the opposite.” 1-894404-02-5