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Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro

Posted by HJD 
Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 13, 2010 07:13PM
I have just found this site and downloaded issue 1 to try it out.
On Saturday I had this email from myhobbystoreltd.com
Can anyone tell me what it is about? Very vague on detail.
Link to website here http://www.myhobbystore.co.uk/search.asp?s=8&nf=1

Dear ,

We are thrilled to offer you the chance to re-subscribe to one of these 4 fantastic puzzle magazines. Back by popular demand these great titles offer over 64 jam packed pages of puzzles, including giant crosswords, brain teasing codes and the most challenging of Sudoku puzzles.

As a valued reader we know how much these magazines mean to you and we wouldn't want you to miss out, therefore if you are missing your fabulous puzzles, re-subscribe and we will be happy to supply you with 12 issues a year of your favourite puzzle magazine.

Subscribe to any or all of these 4 magazines; Puzzle Monthly, Jumbo Cross, Logical Challenge and/or Sudoku Pro by either calling the number below or visiting our website by clicking here. Hurry subscribe today!
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 13, 2010 08:21PM
Perhaps you can clarify Gareth? It seems a bit strange to me. I had noticed a post on your blog site saying something about this, and that Sudoku Pro really had not been ressurrected, but that post seems to have been deleted now. I have just followed the above link out of curiosity and the issue they have on display is issue 27 when there were 50 issues of the magazine before it folded I think.

In any event Sudoku Xtra is a far better magazine, so will be sticking with that!
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 13, 2010 11:38PM
I knew nothing about this until I saw the email that was sent round, and have to say I was pretty surprised! However I spoke today to one of the directors of the company who now own the rights to the title and they really are planning to relaunch Sudoku Pro, as their email said. That's why I decided to remove my blog posting saying I knew nothing about it, because now I've spoken to them I do know something about it.

From my perspective it would be great if the magazine started running again, so long as I was providing the content! smiling smiley It sounds immodest but in truth I can't imagine anyone else in the UK supplying the same set of material at the same quality. As a good example of this, you only need to look at some of the terrible newspaper puzzles, or more fairly perhaps the pale imitations that the two largest puzzle companies put out here. Both Bauer and Puzzler print a surprisingly high number of broken puzzles; for example I've come across so many in Beyond Sudoku now that I've lost count (and I've only solved a handful from a random smattering of issues too; Battleships, Dominoes and more are regularly printed which have many possible solutions), and even some of their books are full of invalid puzzles too, to see that even the most successful publishers just can't get this sort of title right. I should say that of course the vast majority of Puzzler and Bauer puzzles are just fine, but once you stop being able to trust a puzzle publisher you lose the inclination to persist on the difficult puzzles - "in case it's just broken" - and then the fun is gone.

It's easy to print something that looks like a 'puzzle x', but if it doesn't actually solve or follow the rules of 'puzzle x' then it's a pretty poor effort. The single most definitive example I've ever seen is Penguin's 'Monster Puzzles' book where all of the Hitori were broken, and they even had to put an apology on their website listing a gazillion corrections. None of the puzzles followed the rules of Hitori in any case, but even within their own broken understanding of the puzzle they still got most of them wrong. [The book is now out of print so no longer on the Penguin site - shame! You can see references to it on Amazon.com though]. Hitori in general are typically broken on the rare occasions they're published, actually.

I think it's this general terrible quality of Japanese puzzles as printed in our magazines which has made it hard for there to be a 'new sudoku' in the popular imagination. I talk to friends who've tried Kakuro in (say) the Telegraph, where many of the puzzles they've published are unspeakably hard, and they say the puzzle is ridiculously difficult and they can't understand why anyone would enjoy it. But these are just specific examples; Kakuro as a puzzle concept itself is fine. I am quite certain most are brute-force computer generated without any understanding of what makes a fair or interesting puzzles. However the Telegraph ones at least are entirely valid puzzles; I could list 20 examples of Kakuro publishers who simply put numbers in a grid and then calculated the clues before finally deleting the numbers, without realising that 99% of these "puzzles" would have multiple solutions - and therefore can't be solved "logically" since there will be more than one valid value for at least two squares.

All of which is not to say that Sudoku Pro was perfect, but I'd like to think it was a lot better than anything else. But then also as you probably know it's then in turn definitely not the same magazine as Sudoku Xtra, which of course you won't be surprised to hear that I think is in turn a leap beyond again. Sudoku Pro had a much more standard range of puzzles and of course far less of them by count too. But nonetheless to have this sort of content on newsagent shelves again can only be good in general, although it doesn't help people who (like me) were owed money when Accolade Puzzles went into administration.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2010 11:44PM by gareth.
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 14, 2010 06:54AM
Thanks for clarifying Gareth - just leaves me wondering - if you do get asked to supply puzzles for Sudoku Pro will you still produce Sudoku Xtra as well, because as you say it is "a leap beyond", but I know there are only so many hours in a day! Wouldn't want to see the demise of Xtra though!
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 14, 2010 12:15PM
For the avoidance of doubt, I am totally committed to Sudoku Xtra.

I write lots of puzzle and brain-training books every year - the Rough Guide Book of Brain-Training was out recently, for example, and two miniature Solve This! books from Perseus Books are out later this year, plus I'm working on other books at the moment too. So whether I do Sudoku Pro again or not has no bearing on whether I do Sudoku Xtra.
I too have just received an invitation to re-subscribe to "Pro" so am relieved to find this thread and doubly relieved to hear that Xtra in continuing. Gareth is right - it is a terrific leap beyond and hugely valued by me (and many others I think/hope). I doubt I shall re-subscribe as Xtra keeps me going (and challenged!) for the whole month and when I look back at Pro it pales by comparison.

Still I hope, you, Gareth are making good money for the hours of pleasure (and frustration!) you give us all and that you get paid for your back issues of Pro.
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 14, 2010 07:55PM
Nope, if you buy a back issue of Sudoku Pro I won't make a penny, and I was never paid for many of them in the first place... but it seems that in practice there's nothing I can do about this.

Edit: And I should add, thank you very much to everyone who is supporting Sudoku Xtra, either by buying it or contributing - I really appreciate it! It's particularly rewarding that such a high percentage have subscribed too - so thank you again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2010 07:57PM by gareth.
Can't believe you didn't get paid for Pro given the work you put into it - partic shocking as I'm guessing many of us subscribed and didn't get our years supply either! So we all missed out.

Glad you are getting subscribers to Xtra - I was worrying (on your behalf) that it was just the few of us who chat on here. Hope it thrives and survives.
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 15, 2010 06:21AM
Just to echo everything Sue said above, and very relieved to hear Sudoku Xtra will continue! It really is the only devent Sudoku tyoe mag around with continual new challenges - I woiuldn't go back to Sudoku Pro now either. Thanks Gareth smiling smiley
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 17, 2010 03:46PM
I also got this email. I subscribed to Sudoku Pro for a year and received one edition before it went into administration. I'm not about to sign up again! I'd be interested to know if any of the directors of the new company are the same as those for the one that went into administration.
Re: Invitation to re-subscribe to Sudoku Pro
April 17, 2010 08:17PM
So far as I know (and I only know this specifically from consulting the government's Companies House website) there is absolutely no connection between Accolade (who continue to trade through their Accolade Publishing company, which was apparently separate to Accolade Puzzles) and the new owners. I think they literally just bought the assets from the administrator.
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