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Meet the Editor: Susannah Painter

The Editor of Puzzler Collection magazine, Susannah Painter tells isubscribe why, Puzzler Collection holds the title for UK’s biggest-selling puzzle mag, how they get the right balance on which variety of puzzles to feature in each issue and what to expect from future issues!


There are over 160 brain-busting puzzles in each issue of the Puzzler Collection. How are the puzzles created?

Yes, it’s puzzle-packed! The puzzle elves work tirelessly to bring puzzle fans the very best! Such elves include myself, other eds and compilers. Many are hand-crafted, some compiled using grids alongside a carefully curated database. We all have one goal – to devise interesting and fun puzzles, making sure each edition is varied and full of the highest quality content. We’re the UK’s biggest-selling puzzle mag and we’re incredibly proud of that and our precious readers – they inspire us to produce the most imaginative and entertaining puzzles for them every single issue.


Each issue contains a huge variety of puzzles, from classics like crosswords, wordsearch and codewords, to challenging ones such as cryptics, number puzzles and logics. How do you decide which puzzles are featured?

Puzzler Collection’s winning combination of puzzles is one reason it’s the nation’s best-selling puzzle mag. There are classics including Cross-Quiz, Dateline, Double Acrostic, Jolly Mixtures, Kross-Filler, Numerical Crossword, Sudoku and Pieceword, and also many exceptional puzzles that, thanks to those aforementioned elves, remain unequalled anywhere. Iconic puzzles include Round-Tour, Alphabet Jigsaw, Continuity, Story Crossword, Outsider, Honeycomb and Roundabout. Every issue also features a competition with cash prizes totalling £6,000!


Each issue is unique, it’s one of the many things I love about Puzzler Collection, and I choose based on the most important thing – our readers. Our puzzlers give us insight into their favourites and what they’d like more of. I make sure we pack in as many puzzles as possible, it’s important our customers have the best value and enough to satisfy their puzzle fix till the next issue!


There must be something for everyone, so I make sure plenty of the classics are in, and then add some more unusual variants or trickier types. This way, everyone gets their favourite, we don’t lose any of the most popular, but some of the niche and different are in there too. I am fair with requests, so one issue might have some of your faves, the next a bunch more, but there will always be 168 or more teasers. So, everyone gets their share of what they love, and can also try their hand at something they may not have tried before. 

I think listening to our readers and keeping the selection varied yet inclusive is so important. That, alongside are unrivalled selection of iconic puzzles, helps us stay number one. 


How are the puzzles tested and checked? 

As proud editor, I check every puzzle by hand. We also have expert proofreaders (aka, more puzzle elves!), and together we make sure everything has been solved, checked and rechecked. Quality is so important to Puzzler Collection, I’m incredibly lucky to work with a team so passionate about maintaining it. Also, who wouldn’t want to solve a Puzzler Collection with 168+ puzzles every month? I love it!


What’s the best thing about being the Editor of Puzzler Collection?

How long have you got? All of it is magic. The readers, unquestionably, are by far the best thing. It means so much and makes me beam to know we bring puzzling happiness to so many. I receive loads of lovely letters and emails saying how readers look forward to receiving their copy each month, what puzzles they enjoy the most, and chatting about puzzle types they always love or have tried and enjoyed for the first time. Puzzler fans really care about Puzzler Collection, it’s treasured, and that means a lot to me. I think Puzzler Collection keeps its enduring appeal as it is a true classic but will also try something new. It’s a national treasure, and I feel so privileged and lucky to be the ed. My job is to chat to wonderful solving fans about puzzles, and to create and solve puzzles every day. Nothing could be better!


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