Q Code Words – Magazine Of The Month

Q Code Words has been entertaining readers since 1980 with its lively selection of puzzles. There are over 90 puzzles to be enjoyed, all with clear grids, and some with fewer starters for a more in-depth test. There are also plenty of unusual variations on the codeword theme, adding extra twists and interesting enigmas for those who love cracking codes.

Every issue also offers a minimum of £2,000 in cash prizes to be won! So try the codebreaker's first choice with our special offer below, for hours of codebreaking fun.

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Introductory offer: 3 issues for £3, just £1 an issue!*
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Great reasons to subscribe to Q Code Words magazine:

Offer ends 30 April
    • Enjoy an assortment of over 90 puzzles
    • Only £3 for 3 issues, saving over 65%*
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*Terms and conditions: 3 issues of Q Code Words for £3 is a UK offer for new subscribers only. All payment methods pay £3 for 3 issues (saving 67%). Direct Debit customers then pay an ongoing rate of £7.62 every 3 issues, saving 15%. All other payment methods then pay £34.98 for 13 issues, saving 10%; total to pay: £37.98 for 16 issues. Full 13-issue UK annual rate: £38.87. Offer closes: 30 April 2019.

From the editor, Charles...

“The mechanics of codeword puzzles are pretty straightforward. You get a crossword-style grid filled with numbers, each representing a different letter of the alphabet. Your challenge is to crack the code, filling in the letters as you identify them, until you have a grid full of words – and a deep sense of satisfaction.

If that sounds impossible, it really isn’t. As long as you have a love of language, a study of the puzzle will reveal patterns and recurrences which let you guess at your first word, and so set you off on a trail.

To make things easier, most codewords have starter letters to get you going, although we once had a letter from a subscriber who said that the first thing he did with each new copy was to felt-tip out the starters, to increase the challenge. That prompted us to ask in an editorial whether we should have one extra-super-difficult puzzle in each issue, to which our readers responded with a resounding NO.

Incidentally, one of the pleasures of editing Q Code Words is the family feeling created by the lively and responsive readers, who frequently get in touch with comments or suggestions.

A joy of codeword solving is the feeling of gathering momentum as you get further and further into the puzzle. As one number after another falls to your detective skills, that initially opaque grid becomes a romping ground, with words competing to reveal themselves to you.

Of course it can be daunting to get halfway through a puzzle to find an apparent dead end. With a sinking heart you look at a combination of letters and spaces, in a corner of the puzzle, which surely could not be any known word. Well, perhaps it is eraser time, but I prefer to repeat my mantra for these occasions, ‘keep the faith’, and bash on.

Almost inevitably a newly-identified letter will slot somewhere into that enigmatic sequence, which will suddenly make everything delightfully clear: ‘Of course! It’s “sphinx”!’

We are proud of the number of variant puzzles in Q Code Words, including themed puzzles, and others with spiral or back-to-front arrangements, for instance. Some don’t use all 26 letters of the alphabet (which raises the stakes appreciably). And there are the ever-popular Q-Brutes, which have nothing to do with cube roots, but are in a Puzzler Q magazine, and can be brutes to solve, involving cross-referring back and forth between the main grid and an excerpt from a novel, all suitably encoded.

For the intrepid, there are indeed puzzles with fewer or no starter letters, but optional starters for those are always included at the back of the magazine, for the rest of us.

From what readers have to say about Q Code Words, they have as much fun solving it as we have compiling it. And that’s saying something!”

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