Listen With Others

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Magpie In Great Peril; Imminent Ending?

Posted by clanca1234 on 28 Jan 2012

OK, not really a Listener blog,  more of a plea.

The February Magpie has just hit the (virtual) newstands, and with it a very worrying editorial from AJ (Mash) concerning the future of the publication. It appears that subscription renewals for 2012 have been much lower than normal, and if this does not improve, then this may be the Magpie’s final year.

So, I’m sure all crossword lovers will join me in saying:

If you haven’t tried the Magpie before, head over to, and have a go at the sample puzzles that can be downloaded. And, if you like them, please subscribe – only £35 for the year, with pro-ratas available. £35 for 72 puzzles top quality puzzles a year – why wouldn’t you subscribe? Even if you only solve a handful of those, it’s still as cheap as chips.

If you have subscribed before, but haven’t renewed, why not renew now? Again, even if you solve only a few of the puzzles, it’s still worth it.

The editors are also keen to hear any suggestions for ways to increase the readership, so I’m sure they’d love to hear from anybody with any ideas. And, of course, from anybody who would like to subscribe.

It would be terrible to see the Magpie come to an end after ten years of publishing such an ecelectic range of high-quality word and number puzzles, featuring most of the setters who appear in the Listener, Inquisitor and EV.

Besides, if the Magpie did come to an end, I’d be forced to find some people with whom to start my own monthly subscription puzzles magazine. It wouldn’t be as good as the Magpie, and I’d have to commit so much time to it that my wife would probably divorce me. So for the sake of my children, please help!

2 Responses to “Magpie In Great Peril; Imminent Ending?”

  1. John said

    £35 may well be”cheap” to some, but it is steep compared with the various societies I belong to, where the annual subscription, with printed journals, is typically around £24 .
    Not everyone wants to do that many crosswords anyway. The Listener and Spectator – 10p each to photocopy in the local library – largely fulfill my needs. Cheapskate? Well I wouldn’t be buying either just for the crosswords.
    Perhaps the Magpie is allocating too much in prizes?
    Paying the setters too much?
    Do the same winners’ names come up month after month?

  2. Wow, harsh.
    I regularly bought the Sunday Telegraph solely for the puzzles section, and primarily for the Enigmatic Variations, until I convinced the college JCR to switch from the Times (and they thought it was all about the Murdoch empire, the fools! Mwahaha, etc.).
    I am strongly considering a gift subscription for my good friend, the Pie (obviously not a birth name).
    They’re very tough, though, the puzzles. Perhaps it’s my solving ability – as you can tell from my reference to the ‘Poor Man’s Listener’, there is room for improvement.

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