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When we are heading off on our holidays, I always like to take a puzzle book, it's the only time I ever really get around to doing puzzles, even though I do enjoy them. I do also own a DS version of "Puzzler collection" but in truth there's nothing like a proper puzzle book to leaf through and also it's much easier to share the puzzles or do them in a group when you are writing in the book, it's the more social approach! There are also many more different puzzles in the magazine than in the DS game.
The reason that I usually opt for "Puzzler Collection" is for one main reason - it seems to be the only option that includes our favourites - Double Acrostics. They are two-way puzzles of clues to answers which are written into a grid and allocated a code number. These code numbers are then used to transfer the letters into a separate grid to form a quotation. We love them, and there are usually 5 or 6 in a Puzzler Collection.
The other puzzles are either full page, half page, or smaller filler "2-minute" puzzles.
The full-page puzzles include: Wordsearch, Jig-a-link, Codewords, Quizwords, Storywords, Crosswords (straight clues and cryptic), Arrowords, Logic puzzles, Missing Links etc
Half pages include: Quick crosswords, spot the difference, dot-to-dot (we always fight over who gets to do the dot-to-dots!)
Fillers: Word ladders, silouhettes, sudoku and other miscellaneous 2-minute puzzles.
There is a really huge variety of puzzles in the magazine, variety in terms of the actual puzzles but also in terms of their difficulty and time they take to complete. Whatever your preferred puzzles, I bet they are in the Puzzler Collection!
The answers are provided at the back, and are clear and easy to find and read, not too small, and usually there is a pen attached to the front of the magazine. The covers have a glossy feel and the paper of the pages are smooth and bright rather than the rougher, greyer paper some other puzzle books have.
At £2.60 the Puzzler Collection represents great value for money, because the last one I bought was 98 pages and contained 121 puzzles, and to be honest, one of them will normally last us for a couple of holidays at least.
Puzzler is a brand of puzzle books and magazines that have been around for over 40 years.
They publish many types of puzzle books, some are full of the same type of puzzle, such as a book of wordsearches or crosswords, other books are a mixed collection of different puzzle types There are also pocket size books which are handy to carry around and childrens puzzle books for sale.
The Puzzler collection comes out monthly and contains around 60 puzzles. Each issue costs £1.95.
Special issues are issued a few times a year and are seasonal such as a Christmas or Spring Special. These issues are quite good value as they contain over 200 puzzles for £3.30. Some issues come with a pen.
Subscriptions to their various puzzle books are also available for those who buy it regularly to save a bit of money. A Puzzler subscription would also be a good gift idea for puzzle lovers.
The Puzzler Collection can be found on sale in most newsagents and supermarkets. I often pick a copy up when travelling as magazines don't last long and it is easier to carry than a book.
Each issue of the Puzzler Collection contains many puzzles which vary in size, style and difficulty. Some of the types of puzzle you can expect to find in a typical episode are:
- Arrow word
- Pub quiz
- Spot the difference
- Word fit
- Number fit
- Kross piece
There are also other small number or word puzzles dotted around the pages which may be a different style puzzle, these are usually difficult but interesting.
Short instructions are given on how to complete the puzzles and answers can be found in the back for all puzzles except for competition puzzles.
The competitions are usually for cash or an appliance. Forms are included in the book for you to fill out your details and answer to post off to enter the competiton. There are usually details so you can phone, text or go online to enter.
The pages normally have a couple of illustrations to make them a little more pleasant to look at. The books contain only a few adverts which are normally for other puzzle books. I like this as I can't stand magazines with pages and pages of adverts.
The paper is fairly thick and doesn't tear easily, but I find pencils don't write very well in most books and an inky pen will soak through and ruin the puzzle on the reverse side of the page so biros are probably best.
I really like the Puzzler Collection and often buy it. The wide variety of puzzles ranging in difficulty means there is something for everyone in it. Also the different sizes mean you can do a quick coffee break crossword when you have a couple of minutes spare, or a bumper quiz word when you have more time.
Even the bumper editions are not too big, bulky or heavy so they're easy to carry to do a puzzle when travelling or on holiday.
Definitely my favourite puzzle book!
Last year, I worked nights for a nursing agency. I have recently gone back into care work and started working night shift again and couldn't work out how I used to stay awake all night. Until I found my 'Puzzler Collection' that I brought last year and remembered how it used to help!
== Price and Availability ==
The copy of this magazine that I have was brought in April 2010, at the time I paid £2.30 for the magazine and a free pen. I picked this issue up in my local Tesco Express and, although I haven't specifically looked for another issue, have noticed that more recent issues are still on the shelces.
Although I do not know where Puzzler Collection is specifically stocked, I have seen magazines with similar covers in large and small supermarkets and in WH Smith.
== Puzzler Collection ==
'Puzzler Colletion' is a monthly magazine that is full of different puzzles aimed to stimulate the brain and keep you entertained. Some of the puzzles inside include:
* Crosswords - A common puzzle which provides you with a list of clues, the answers to these are entered into a grid to fill in empty squares.
* Jig-words - Similar to a crossword but the answers are given to you and you have to work out where they belong on the grid.
* Arrowwords - Again, similar to a crossword but the clues are printed on the grid instead of black squares.
Along with these you will find simple wordsearches, spot the difference, paint by numbers and riddles. There are also several more complicated puzzles that are too much for me to even attempt to describe.
The issue that I have has 91 pages packed with puzzles; some may take up a whole page where other pages may have four small puzzles. This edition contains 122 puzzles, so you can see why it has lasted so long!
At the back of the magazine are 8 pages which contain all of the solution to the puzzles inside so you can check once you have finished (or cheat).
== I couldn't stay awake without it! ==
As I said, I picked this up simply to entertain myself on night shifts and stay awake and it definately has served it's purpose. Not being the brightest crayon in the box, most of the time one of these puzzles will last me for the majority of a night shift and keep me going all night. This is obviously why I have managed to make this edition last a whole year and people with a little more intelligence might get through all of the puzzles in one month.
I love the fact that the solutions are included as I like to check my answers when I've finished. Most magazines have the solutions in the following issue so that you have to buy it to check your answers and I'm glad I didn't have to do that or all of the puzzles would have gotten too much for me, even if it does mean another year's worth of entertainment!
I can confidently say that the majority of the puzzles in here will never be completed as they are just too much for my poor brain. But I have thoroughly enjoyed the wordsearches, jig-words and more simple puzzles that I can manage. How anyone can complete a full crossword without Googling the answers is beyond me!
Although this has provided me with hours of entertainment, I think the net time I will just buy a wordsearch book as too many of these puzzles are wasted on me. However, if you are into these kind of puzzles and confident with them, I would highly recommend Puzzler Collection.
I am still giving this magazine 4/5 stars as it if a great collection and doesn't deserve a lower rating jusy because I'm not clever enough for the puzzles.
I like to buy these every so often, Though at the moment I am going to try to complete a lot of each issue and get the latest one, so that I can enter the competition!
I am probably stereotyping here, but going on other people I see with puzzle magazines, a lot of the target market seems to be older adults, so being 20 and buying puzzler magazine, I do get laughed at by my housemates but I don't really care as I love to do the puzzles!
The front cover of the magazine isnt really that attractive, usually an unfashionable photograph of a young women wearing a roll neck jumper, and then some rendom stock images relating to whatever time of year it is - this issue in late march i have a blonde women in a red roll neck, a picture of some hot cross buns with daffodils on top of them (food hygiene, people?!) and a picture of an easter egg sitting in some fluff. The colours are in their usual lurid splendour - a check board of red and pink squares with yellow logos and signs.
However, image and reputation aside, I will still buy this magazine for the puzzles. Each issue is usually £2.30 and there are 14 issues printed a year, so a bit less than monthly. The latest issue is No. 282. There claims to be 121 puzzles and crosswords and 100 pages. So quite a lot then!
Every issue comes with a chance to win the cash prize. Early in the magazine is a competition puzzle where you have to work out the code word or phrase by completing the puzzle. The first prize is a cheque for £1000, 2nd prize is £500 and third prize is £100 to 5 different people.
The magazine itself consists of a big mixture of different kinds of puzzles, which I like as it doesnt become boring, hence the name 'collection'.
If you just like doing one kind of puzzle, puzzler offer magazines and books for specific puzzles like their crossword, arroword or sudoku ones.
Here is a list of included puzzles: 4-Square, Alphabetical Jigsaw, Arroword, Backwards, Boxwise, Bracer, Chain Gang, Codeword, Continuity, Cross-Quiz, Crossword, Cryptic Crossword, Dateline, Dilemma, Dot-To-Dot, Double Acrostic, Fitword, Honeycomb, Jolly Mixtures, Knot Or Not?, Kriss Kross, Linkword, Logic Problem, Missing Links, Number Jig, Numerical Crossword, Pairs, Pathfinder, Pieceword, Riddle, Roundabout, Round-Tour, Silhouette, Skeleton Crossword, So Complete!, Spiral, Step Ladder, Story Crossword, Sudoku, Sum-Up, Tangled Lines, Two-By-Two, Word Chain, Word Maze, Wordsearch.
Personally, I really like the arrowwords, as I can do them fast.
I like codewords because they are hard.
The magazine inside is all in black and white print even the pictures. The pages are thick and good quality and it doesn't smell of ink or rub off which is great.
I just like relaxing in bed or having a break from studying by doing a puzzle, as it still helps your brain tick over.
I love puzzler magazine and anyone who doesn't like trying to do puzzles no matter what age is crazy!
Whenever I am going on holiday I like to take a few good books and also a puzzle book of some sort to while away those lazy hours of relaxation. My preferred puzzle book is definitely the Puzzler collection.
The Puzzler Collection is produced about every four weeks; it is not quite monthly as there are 14 issues a year strangely. It is produced by Puzzler Media Ltd who are responsible for a variety of puzzle magazines on the market. The current price is £2.30 per issue and like all magazines substantial savings can be made by using a subscription.
As I said I tend to buy an issue when I am going on holiday so I regularly see several copies a year (lucky me - I have lots of holidays!) and sometimes a copy finds its way into my Christmas stocking too. The magazine has a shiny, thick cover which withstands the rigours of being bent and stuffed into backpacks and the like very well. The basic design of the cover has been the same as long as I can remember. The background is squared, like a crossword, and then there are four photographs on the front, usually at least one of a smiling lady and then some of scenery. The title is usually in bright red so it is easy to spot on the newsagent's shelves.
Each issue consists of 100 pages including the covers and there are normally about 110 to 120 puzzles.
This is a mixed puzzle publication aimed at adults. There are not any family pages and only a few activities that would appeal to children.
The majority of the puzzles are word orientated such as crosswords, word searches, missing links and arrow words. These vary in difficulty with arrow-words being the easiest. Some of the crosswords are large and will take a good while to finish whilst some are quick and easy and are ideal for five minutes of relaxation. The main problem I have is that whilst doing the puzzles in a particular issue there is a distinct repetition of clues in that particular issue. I thought that I was imagining this at first but my mum also likes Puzzler Collection and she mentioned this niggle to me as well. Except for the cryptic puzzles that I have always been useless at I don't have too much difficulty finishing the crosswords.
There are a few number puzzles, these take the form of Number Jigs where you have to put listed numbers into a grid and number only crossword type puzzles and the ever popular Sudoko. Although I have a love of maths these just do not appeal to me at all but strangely the number-jigs are my son's favourites.
There is a good selection of logical puzzles. These take many forms. The hardest ones are the type that give you six or seven statements and you have to keep cross-referencing them until you have worked out the permutation of events. The rest are mainly picture puzzles with clues to help you solve them.
Observation puzzles are also included. The most obvious are the Spot The Difference, these are quite tricky because of the strange illustrations used, my children used to like to try these but because the drawings are very linear they are quite dull and they don't bother now. They prefer the puzzled where you have to match pictures or put events in order.
There are a couple of simple puzzles such as dot-to-dot and shading the dotted areas which younger children could do.
Each issue there is a competition with cash prizes of £2000. These often take the form of word-jigs. I have never entered the competition so sadly I have never won either!
If you get stuck the answers are in the back of the magazine. Years ago I used to buy a puzzle magazine that had the previous months answers in, this used to annoy me as I only buy them irregularly so I never knew if I was right. I prefer to have the answers available so that if I get really stuck I can check if I am on the right track. I know some people would class this as cheating but since I am on holiday I don't want to get stressed-out because I can't think of an answer and my dictionary is miles away at home!
One of the things that I like most about Puzzler Collection is the quality of the paper and the printing. There are several puzzle magazines on the market that are very poorly printed and leave dirty ink-marks on your hands and clothes if you try to use them. The printing in this publication is of excellent quality and it does not transfer at all. It is also does not act like blotting paper which some publications do, even if I use an ink roller-ball type pen the writing stays neat and clear and does not start spreading into the paper and through to the next page.
Out of all the mixed puzzle publications I have tried I would say this is the best one. The variety of puzzles in each issue is good. If I am honest I would prefer some of them to be more challenging without being cryptic but otherwise I am very happy with it. As not all the puzzles appeal to me I suppose I usually complete about 80% of them and I will pick it up and put it down over several weeks so it is money well spent. It is not a publication I would want every issue as it would become samey too quickly but it is ideal for my holiday treat.