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9/12/2013 4:52:07 PM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
Bernadette,

I picked up a Penny's Fill-In Puzzles magazine a little while back, my first fill-in in some time. It's 5 3/4" by 8 1/2" (8 1/2" = copy paper width, for an easy gauge) and does seem cramped. But is this title either the old size or the new size of the Favorite Fill-Ins? I don't buy the "digest"-sized magazines very often, so I haven't been paying attention.

ETA: Checking my files, I see that some of these digest-sizes used to quite a bit larger. I have copies of Loop-A-Word puzzles from old Penny Press word seek magazines---about 6 1/2" by 9 1/2". How does that size compare?

Frances.
edited by Frances on 9/12/2013

9/12/2013 9:58:11 PM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
Hi Bernadette,

I've never seen one of those "On the Go" magazines, but I recently acquired a Penny Press America's Best Word Seek and a Dell Traveler's Best Word Search. Both are constructed exactly the same, and have 98 pages with glued spines. They are the new size of your Fill-In: 5 1/4" x 7 3/4".

One problem with solving in these small magazines is when they started stuffing more and more pages in all their titles ("Jumbo Issue!" "More Puzzles!") and then, by necessity or economics, switched from staples to glued spines, it became hard to work in them. I have to hold the books forcibly open with one hand across the pages to keep them from snapping shut while writing with the other. On the full-size magazines it's not as bad, but all the smaller ones, in my opinion, should stick with staples, as some still do. When the size of the magazine itself gets smaller and smaller, it just gets worse. (Besides with stapled copies, you can bend the book back upon itself, which is easier to me providing the puzzle isn't on 2 pages or the magazine isn't too bulky). That's a complaint of mine.

But regardless of staples or glue, or number of pages, with a smaller page (and they're probably still using the 15 x 15 grids) I think the diagrams, word lists, and any text or graphics are going to get too busy and all bunched up close, harder on the eyes, and making solving less pleasant. No wonder you're unhappy! (I do have a copy of Penny's Pocket Word Seek, 4 1/4" x 5 1/4". Now that one's just cute!)

But you're probably right that these smaller sizes are a matter of saving money, and the digest-sizes will all end up being the new dinky-sized (I mean economically-designed) of your Fill-In and the others, in order to keep their costs down and the issues coming.

Frances.

9/13/2013 7:39:34 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Hi Bernadette,

I also subscribe to this title. I haven't received my new issue yet with the size you describe. I picked this title due to the inclusion of Letterboxes, Tanglewords, etc in addition to the Fill Ins. I am not looking forward to the new size - I already found the digest size kind of cramped for my tastes. I have seen Fill Ins in other publications and don't enjoy the smaller grids and smaller fonts because of my eyesight. Oh well. I did buy one of the 40 issue value packs this summer. Depending on the size of the new issue I will probably call Penny Dell and ask for the balance of my script to be applied to another publication.

9/13/2013 2:55:51 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
There used to be magazines that I got (not necessarily having anything to do with puzzles) that were a small-ish size and could fit easily into my pocketbook. I also had little "magazine boxes" for them, and it all fit nicely onto my bookshelves. Then, over the course of time, all these magazines started putting out larger-sized magazines, no longer digest-sized, and I resented the pain-in-the-neck nature of the new size vis-a-vis carrying around in my pocketbook, let alone having to buy newer "magazine holders" for my shelves (and having to use the top shelf -- really on top of the actual shelves -- and a stepladder, to get the new, big, magazines to fit).

So with those other magazines (where you simply read articles and usually don't work on any puzzles) I wanted the smaller size. I agree, though, that for working on puzzles, I want a larger size, and would resent having everything crammed into a smaller size. In fact, one of the things I like about Dell logic puzzles, that I dislike about Penny logic puzzles, is that the size of the Penny puzzles is usually too cramped. With Dell, if there are a plethora of clues, they'll put the whole puzzle and grid on TWO PAGES rather than try to cram it onto one page.

I agree that it would be better to have to pay a little more for a decent-sized puzzle magazine, versus cramming the same amount of material onto smaller pages just to keep the price the same.

--
Amy

9/13/2013 3:33:36 PM

admin
admin
Administrator
Posts: 108
Bernadette1959 wrote:
Dear Editors,

I received my December issue of "Favorite Fill-In" magazine today and I cannot stress to you enough how much I hate that you have made this publication smaller. By my estimates, it's an inch to an inch and a half shorter and a half inch narrower.

I don't know what savings you could possibly garner by this reduction but if the change remains, I won't be renewing my subscription.

Again, I really, really hate the new size. If anything, I would like the magazine to be made larger, for ease of solving.

Thank you.

Bernadette



We're sorry to hear you're upset, Bernadette.

Unfortunately, the company that prints our magazines can no longer create the previous size of Penny's Favorite Fill-In. We made the decision to go to the closest size smaller because the larger size would have required we raise the price. We didn't want to put that burden onto our customers.

We do continue to offer Fill-Ins magazines that are slightly larger than the previous size of Penny's Favorite Fill-In. Please contact customer service directly at 1-800-220-7443 to discuss your particular subscription needs. We value you as a customer and want to make sure you're happy!

Best,
Admin

9/17/2013 11:00:33 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Chris the Indiana Puzzler wrote:

Depending on the size of the new issue I will probably call Penny Dell and ask for the balance of my script to be applied to another publication.


Totally off topic but I have to thank you for your post Chris. I was thinking about switching from my Math & Logic subscription to Penny Press' Original Logic Problems and thought I had to wait for my subscription to run out before I could make the switch. After reading your post I emailed them and heard back today that the remainder of my subscription will be the Original Logic Problems. smile
edited by Purple Pisces on 9/17/2013

9/18/2013 8:24:10 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
You're welcome Ally. This is why I will always be a loyal PP/Dell solver! They have excellent customer service.

Purple Pisces wrote:
Chris the Indiana Puzzler wrote:

Depending on the size of the new issue I will probably call Penny Dell and ask for the balance of my script to be applied to another publication.


Totally off topic but I have to thank you for your post Chris. I was thinking about switching from my Math & Logic subscription to Penny Press' Original Logic Problems and thought I had to wait for my subscription to run out before I could make the switch. After reading your post I emailed them and heard back today that the remainder of my subscription will be the Original Logic Problems. smile
edited by Purple Pisces on 9/17/2013

9/18/2013 8:27:09 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Bernadette1959 wrote:
Hi Frances!

I'm not sure if all the Penny and Dell Fill-In magazines have had the same dimensions in the past. I rarely ever buy any other fill-in titles at the store so I can only speak about the Favorite Fill-Ins that I receive by subscription.

Up to and including the October 2013 issue, the dimensions of Favorite Fill-In Puzzles has been 5 1/2" by 8 1/2". Now the December 2013 issue is 5 1/4" by 7 3/4", so it's a half inch narrower and 3/4" shorter, not quite an inch as I had estimated but still the difference is very noticable. And I really, really, really don't like it. upset

I believe this must be a trend, though. The only Kappa/Official title I purchase on a regular basis is their Number Fill-In magazine and last month's issue had been cropped off at the top just like this fill-in book. I was actually in the bookstore earlier this afternoon and noticed that Kappa's regular Fill-In magazines are now being published in those same new dimensions. I'm wondering now if PennyDell plans to reduce the size of all of their "digest-sized" magazines, too?

Are you familiar with the "On The Go" and "Pocket" series of small puzzle books that PennyDell puts out? I certainly hope the day doesn't come when all of the "digest-sized" magazines become "pocket-sized" but it sure does seem to be trending that way! smile

Bernadette




Bernadette,
I was looking at my Oct. 2013 copy and it appears to be smaller also. I didn't even realize it until I saw your post!

9/18/2013 8:55:28 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Wow. That's quite amusing. I've had issues arrive within a day or 2 before, but usually when I just started subscribing. I was working in one of these smaller issues and found that it's not that bad. I think I will keep the subscription for now. I did let my Pocket Crosswords end in favor of Crosswords Crosswords.

9/18/2013 12:13:04 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Chris the Indiana Puzzler wrote:
You're welcome Ally. This is why I will always be a loyal PP/Dell solver! They have excellent customer service.


I agree! smile

9/24/2013 8:15:33 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Hi Bernadette,

Have you solved any in the new size magazine? I started working the hard puzzles (I typically start with #1, but I am saving the easy puzzles from my girls to solve) in the Dec. issue. I was able to solve comfortably. Erasing was a little messy since the grid is smaller and the eraser smudged the ink on the grid.

Happy solving!

9/26/2013 9:19:53 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
I don't know if its how my brains wired but I work with numbers all day long and I find the number and license plate Fill Ins impossible. I work much better with letters/words. I think it related to being able to see the beginning and final letter of a word and the recognition process in the brain that triggers. With numbers they're so random to me.

9/26/2013 4:07:27 PM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
I think I was tripped up on Puzzle 104 due to the smaller size! I needed a _ I R _ word to fit in the middle of the puzzle and the only 4 letter work I could find was EIRE. However, the last E in EIRE did not fit with the cross clues, either STYLED or YELLED. I just went along and solved the rest of the puzzle and later found a spot for EIRE in a different location. I erased it when I had it with the last E circled, and then I noticed AIRY at the top of the 4 letter word list. I swear I must have looked that 4 letter list over for 10 minutes without seeing an IR combo other than EIRE. I am going to chalk that up to the smaller size!

9/26/2013 4:08:30 PM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Bernadette1959 wrote:
Content removed by me.

Bernadette
edited by Bernadette1959 on 9/14/2013



Why did you delete your original post that started this discussion? Just curious.

9/30/2013 7:54:56 PM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
I pulled one of my value pack fill in magazines out to leave in my bedroom to solve. I was working thru the hard puzzles of Penny's Famous Fill-In Puzzles Issue 110 (aug. 15, 2012) and I was looking over the magazine. On the cover it says, "Now 138 puzzles," but the Table of Contents states "Fill-Ins without Starting Words ... 142-149." However, the final puzzle in the book is 138. That's when I realized that the numbers in the contents are not the Puzzle Nos. and are the page numbers. LOL!

10/3/2013 9:45:41 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
Does anyone remember a small version of Penny Press Variety Puzzle books? I seem to remember doing these and how convenient they were. Maybe I'm wrong and it wasn't P.P. I'd appreciate someone straightening me out on this. Also, if they did make them why did they stop? CC

10/4/2013 9:39:49 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
The only Penny (or maybe it's Dell?) publication that I know in a small size, is the relatively new one that got started in February, for Jumbles.

--
Amy

10/4/2013 10:59:09 AM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
I'm a bit vague on this and may be misremembering, but it's possible Approved Variety could have once been smaller. Not a lot, just an inch or so both ways. This would have been in the early 80's. As for any magazines smaller than that, I don't know. Perhaps an Editor could find out and let us know if Penny Press or Dell ever issued small or digest-sized variety magazines.

10/4/2013 3:15:48 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
Bernadette that's the one I was talking about! I had forgotten that it had Crosswords too. Thanks for all the answers guys I was really racking my brain on that one! CC

10/17/2013 10:06:31 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
So Bernadette, would you care to share you strategy for solving the big Fill-ins at the back of the Favorite Fill-in that don't have a starting word? I am assuming of course that you solve these mind bogglers! Any one else has some pointers, please share.
edited by Chris_INPUZZLER on 10/17/2013

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