On December 1st last year I launched PuzzleMail, a weekly collection of crosswords, cartoons and more, filling two A4 pages to the brim! It’s the place I put all the puzzles that are too cheeky, challenging or experimental for my newspaper gig, emailed every Thursday morning.
PuzzleMail is still only in its infancy, and there is still a long way to go in my PuzzleMail plot! But I enjoy watching my baby hit inboxes every Thursday, and corresponding with the solvers who always let me know what they think of my wacky puzzle ideas.
A look back at the last 26 editions of PuzzleMail:
I’ve connected with subscribers from America, England and all corners of Australia. With my international audience in mind, I usually I try to minimise Australianisms.
Gift subscriptions have been popular! Stephanie bought her partner a gift subscription to PuzzleMail for their anniversary - solving crosswords together can be such a romantic activity. My generous wife even subscribed for 6 weeks until I caved and told her she could have PuzzleMail for free.
Totally agree! PuzzleMail has a cheeky, daring edge - so happy we found it!😀— Karin Wiese (@ktwiese) May 16, 2019
I’ll try anything to try to find those LR crossword fans out in the world - both on the internet and in the real world. I printed 100 colour copies of PuzzleMail’s free sample to put in cafes, only to spot a glaring error on page one.
Other marketing campaigns include appearing on ABC radio to spruik the newsletter and annoying the heck out of my Twitter followers with my constant plugs. When my marketing budget gets bigger, I plan do pull some bigger stunts. Do you think it’s possible to skywrite a crossword?
Favourite puzzles of the last 6 months?
My favourite quick crossword would have to be this one in which I made all the across clues 2-letter words. These puzzles take a crazily long time to make, and I’m often cursing myself after the fifth hour of staring at the half-made grid. But it’s worth it when you finish.
Most of my cryptics have themes, with this tricky bugger being my pick of the bunch.
The future of PuzzleMail
Of course, one day PuzzleMail will be found in all good cafes, book stores and newsagents, with guest compilers, puzzle news and will be a dozen pages thick. But for now, subscribe to this well-kept secret while it’s still underground.