created a rich and detailed world designed to entertain and tax the brain. One
of the more famous scenes from his work involved Riddles in the Dark. This
sequence, from The Hobbit, had poor Bilbo Baggins doing his level best to
outwit Gollum through a series of riddles. It’s on this rather tenuous
inspiration that Carlton books have produced Middle Earth Puzzles.
Hardcore Tolkien scholars may be
disappointed here. These are not puzzles
based on the lore of Middle Earth such as ‘How does one get to Valinor’ or ‘Why
are Hobbits always hungry’. Instead, they’re a sequence of increasing fiendish
logic puzzles with a passing nod to Lord of the Rings and the like. Many of
these are well known teasers, but it does avoid repeating some of the more
well- known problems. No riddles in the
dark will be found here.
As such, the actual tie-in element varies wildly. Dedopulos does his best to link his little brain teasers in with the lore. Mostly this involves naming one of the Fellowship of the Ring. The premise is that all of these brain teasers come from the ‘The Great Green Book of Buckland’, which sounds like the sort of thing that Bilbo would have on his book shelf. The book itself is a pocket-sized thing, likely to slip easily into a jacket to be pulled out at social gatherings. After all, the point of this thing is to stump yourself, then family and friends. The whole thing has a nice ‘fantasy’ look to it and they are plenty of Lord of the Rings style illustrations throughout.
Despite being a pretty standard book of riddles, enough thought and effort has been made to give the thing an air of the incredible, and will likely be a stocking filler of choice for fantasy fans looking for a light bit of winter fun.
THE MIDDLE EARTH PUZZLES / AUTHOR: TIM
DEDOPULOS / PUBLISHER: CARLTON BOOKS LTD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW