The first magazine to be dedicated to codewords was launched more than 30 years ago. Its longevity is a testament to the quality of the puzzles and the enthusiasm of the editor, which shines through the pages.
The standard puzzles are based on a 15x15 grid. Usually, three starters are given, but for some, only one or two are provided and in a few puzzles, the solver is able to determine the number of starters. The ambition is to ensure that, as far as is possible, no word appears more than once in any issue. The magazine includes several novelties that change from issue to issue (for example, spiral codeword, skeleton codeword, codesearch). Among the regular puzzles are cryptograms, shortcodes (where only 10 letters have to be deciphered) and 22 to do.
Each issue runs the Q Cash competition in which readers can win a share of £1,500. First prize is £1,000, and there are five runner-up prizes of £100 each. This competition also runs in other Q titles. There are also occasional seasonal competitions.
The layout of the puzzles is sensible. Attractive illustrations decorate some pages. Feedback from readers is encouraged.