Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Crossword Cipher Saga Continues...

This is just amazing. I bought this lot of books on eBay:

Nancy Drew 10 hardcovers 1933 & up GREAT set!!! Item #220494603776


I only bought the lot because of the library binding of Whispering Statue, not that I really needed another library binding. The books didn't look to be in very good shape, in spite of the seller's comments. I just received the books, and they are what I expected—not in very good shape. Whenever I buy library bindings, they usually come with poor condition books, and that is what I expect regardless of what the seller states.

As I pull Nancy Drew picture covers from packages, I always turn to the back cover to see what is the last title listed. I get to the rather trashed copy of Crossword Cipher and... it lists to Pine Hill on the back cover. The elusive first printing! Or is it?

The book lists to Pine Hill on the back cover, which meets the points for the elusive 1967A-1 printing.

However, we have a problem. The elusive first printing has no interior list of titles... then why on earth does mine have a list of titles? It is on the reverse side of the last page of text, which is page 177.


The list of titles is ND #1-43 and DG #1-27. This matches the interior list for the third, fourth, and fifth printings. So I seem to have a hybrid between the first and one of three later printings. So what do I have? Do I have the elusive first printing? As far as I'm concerned, I have yet another interesting anomaly. I'm not convinced that it is the first printing. I still think that the "first printing" of Crossword Cipher is more of an anomaly, even though multiple examples exist.

So if you own a Crossword Cipher listing to Pine Hill, does your book have a post-text list of titles? This gets stranger and stranger.

14 comments:

Benny said...

Why don't you just do what Carpenteri did on the Hardy Boys?
At least half of those have a typo correction between the first and second printing.

Jennifer White said...

Could you clarify?

Benny said...

Seems pretty obvious to me. Get two copies, both of which might be a first. Look at all the pages. See if there are any differences.

Jennifer White said...

That is easier said than done. I have been wanting a Crossword Cipher listing to Pine Hill for years. It might take awhile to get another one that does not not have an interior list.

In the meantime, I could compare the one I have to the second and third printings that I have. You have given me an interesting idea. I might try to follow up on it soon. I have some other projects that I'm going to have to attend to first. On the other hand, I am curious, so I might take a look before I get to some of the other stuff. Thanks!

Jennifer White said...

On second thought, I seriously doubt that I'm going to compare the texts of the three books that I own. Doesn't Tony have some software that compares the scanned texts for differences? I don't have any software like that. Just the process of scanning nearly 200 pages for three books would take a long time.

Aside from that, it would take absolutely forever for me to read through all three books hoping to find some kind of minute difference. I don't care that much. It can remain a mystery as far as I'm concerned. I have better things to do.

Benny said...

I've not a clue as to Carpenteri does it. But you could contact him at hardy-boys@comcast.net.

stratomiker said...

According to biblio standards, a 'printing' is the number of texts printed while the plates are on the presses. It's not likely anyone would ever do a printing of three or four. And it's the texts that constitute the printing, not boards or DJs. Those are often printed elsewhere, not even at the same company the texts are printed. Thus, a printing is not necessarily a 'correct' combination of texts, boards, DJs. These are assembled together often at the warehouse, and we know from people who worked at the G&D warehouse that pandemonium was usually the rule there.

If there are texts for Cipher with and without the titles list, who can say which ones were printed first? It's all guesswork. Backboards listing to 42 were probably left over, and used up on some covers. That doesn't make the book an earlier printing if all the texts were printed at the same time. Same as an earlier-looking DJ doesn't make it an earlier printing if the books are the same and there is no way to tell which ones were printed first. I have mainstream fiction books that came with two or three DJs on them, different ones. Books are often produced that way.

To use the 'worn-out plates' resulting in 'differences' and thus 'printings' routine is sheer bunk. One doesn't know if seemingly worn-out plates differences were printed at different times, or if the plates wore out while the presses were running. That is the fact - ONE DOESN'T KNOW: one can only speculate.

The guides would be acceptable to true bibliophiles if they used the term 'variations' instead of 'printings'. But to claim all these printing numbers for such and such differences is nothing but 'fantasy' when no such thing is stated in the books. They do not understand the true bibliographical meanings of the terms 'edition' and 'printing'.

All this can easily be verified on Wikipedia and scores of other biblio sites that explain what are editions, printings, impressions, etc. Series book guides have been created by people who do not understand bibliographical terms and most true bibliophiles consider them a complete hoax.

Mike

Jennifer White said...

If there are texts for Cipher with and without the titles list, who can say which ones were printed first? It's all guesswork.

That is why I am skeptical about which printing is really the first printing of Crossword Cipher. I find it odd that the ones that list to #42 come with or without the title list, and the difference between the second and third printings are that same title list. I have this nagging feeling that the #42 boards could be a subset of both the second and third printings.

Unknown said...

I just got my purchase of #44 Crossword Cipher that lists on the back to Phantom of Pine Hill! Immediately looked in the back and there is a title list - Mystery of the 99 steps/DG Secret of the Secret Dolphin! Nora

Jennifer White said...

Congratulations! I consider any Crossword Cipher that lists to Pine Hill on the back cover to be the first printing, regardless of whether it has the interior list.

Unknown said...

Your reply makes me feel a lot better, Jennifer! I've been looking for over 2 years for a Crossword Cipher listing to #42 on the back so can't imagine having much luck at finding another without the list! But I'll keep looking! LOL Nora

Whitney Fero said...

Did you ever resolve this? This is one of only a few 1st/1st missing from my collection. We hope knew it would be this hard to get one printed to late!

Whitney Fero said...

Still searching in 2019.... I believe I will find this unicorn!

Jennifer White said...

We still don't know which came first. I have taken the question to David Farah, and he didn't have an answer. I feel that we must consider any Crossword Cipher that lists to Pine Hill on the back cover to be the first printing.