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11th May 2022, 15:54
A compiler friend has forwarded the following missive from the EV editor.

Dear EV compilers

It is with sadness that I am informing you the Enigmatic Variations series is to be discontinued.

I've been told The Telegraph is only going to offer interactive versions of puzzles to on-line subscribers in future and will therefore not offer the EV, as it cannot be made interactive and they will not supply puzzles in pdf format alone. The result is that this loses solvers who access the version on-line and that makes the print version (in the newspaper) of the puzzle unviable.

Thanks for your puzzles and support of the series; I've enjoyed working with you all and editing the EV. The last puzzle will be on Sunday July 31st 2022 – I am currently editing the July puzzles, which make up a set based on a common theme ending on July 31st, and setters know who they are. Any other puzzles are released.


EV Editor

The phrase"Cultural Vandalism" is bandied around rather too freely, but this surely fits the bill?
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jack aubrey

11th May 2022, 16:15
That’s my Telegraph puzzles subscription cancelled then. The EV is the only reason I have it.
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11th May 2022, 16:27
Perhaps there will be last minute commutation of the death sentence like last time:

Or perhaps not. Sigh.
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11th May 2022, 16:57
Time to mobilise the troops again. Let's hope the decision can be reversed.
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11th May 2022, 17:14

Thanks for that awful news. I only subscribe to the Telegraph for the EV so I too will cancel that. I dont read the rest of the newspaper.

always puzzled

I remember that your efforts a year or so ago resulted in a reversal of the decision. I have no idea what pfd, interactive etc is all about, but this is a sad end to a great series.

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11th May 2022, 17:46
Good Afternoon, jigjag. PDF is "portable document format" which means that it can be printed and downloaded. Interactive puzzles are solved online and the format doesn't lend itself to the advanced thematic puzzles - it's called "progress".
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11th May 2022, 18:07
I too have cancelled my subscription; like others it has been solely for access to EV. I have emailed them to tell them why.
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11th May 2022, 18:21
Chalicea here (and the Numpties of the EV hints blog). Indeed, as Ifor says, we compile for the pleasure of it. An EV puzzle (or a Magpie, IQ or Listener compilation) takes several days - even weeks and the remuneration (quoted by Ifor - between 100 and 200 pounds for the thematic cryptics) in no way reflects the work put in by compiler, test-solvers, etc.). I could be sewing mailbags as a guest of her Majesty - if they still do that - for a higher rate per hour. Puzzles would still appear, paid or not.

My feeling is that the EV is special, demanding imagination and greater insight from a solver. It is great that some of you are recognising that - I wonder if the loss of subscriptions will awaken the Tel to the fact that they have a gem in their pages that they are planning to destroy.
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11th May 2022, 19:15
This is something worth fighting to keep. I will certainly be making the strongest possible representations as an individual to the powers-that-be at the Telegraph but I hope as many people as possible will contribute to this thread to stress their dismay at this crass decision. EV is frequently by far the best of the 'big three' each week and to axe it is a spectacular own-goal.
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11th May 2022, 19:23
Very sad news. EV was the best bit of that paper!
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