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6/22/2017 11:44:50 PM

Josh
Josh
Posts: 170
Some thoughts about the latest Sudoku Spectacular:
  • For those who didn't notice, the number of handcrafted puzzles were cut. I thought some of them looked familiar, and sure enough, there are reprints from the inaugural Will Shortz's Sudoku. That means they're only roughly two years old, which is a bit unfortunate, as they're rare enough and unique enough to remember them. I'm sure that problem fades in a year or two when the distance grows. But the use of those puzzles explains the loss of Outside Sudoku and the reduction to 9 from 11 of the rest of the variations, given the make-up of the smaller-sized Shortz publication.
  • Note for the editors: Your directions for Consecutive Pairs Sudoku appear to have been copied from Vol. 4, but the grids use bars, not circles, and there is a critical rule missing that existed earlier that said that non-bar connected squares have to be off by more than 1 (which actually ran under the name Consecutive Sudoku; perhaps that was intentional to distinguish between the two). I struggled with puzzle #3 for awhile until I remembered that was at one point a rule. That led me to check the old issues, and is how I then confirmed the reprinting of puzzles. I'm making a note in case you use other older puzzles which followed the previous rules/design.
  • It seems like you've stuck with the rougher paper from Volume 4. I noticed it but didn't post last time out, but the paper in volumes 1-3 are much nicer to the touch; this paper feels course by comparison. That seems to have been an across the board decision, but given the premium for the cost of the magazine I'd have hoped for a bit nicer.

I'm really bummed. I traditionally bought two copies of Shortz's magazine so I could solve one now and one at some point later, and did the same here; this will pretty much render moot my need to buy the Spectaculars for awhile if they're just going to be reprints from here on out, since I still have a stack of both magazines to work through (some once, some for the second time). If you bumped up either the harder puzzle count or added more Ken-Ken, Sumdoku and Challengers over the originals and extremes (you have plenty of those elsewhere), you'd up my enthusiasm to keep buying. Or maybe the World Sudoku Championship Puzzles, as you did the tournament crosswords in the latest Crosswords Extravaganza?

I'm rooting for you guys; I make my Barnes & Noble membership worthwhile on the basis of the copies I buy there alone. Hopefully the environment out there improves, especially given the relatively unique position you hold.

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