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Robert Morast, Published November 29 2009

Morast: Solving our puzzle problem

If you’re a crossword puzzle fan, you’ve probably been wondering what The Forum will do next with its puzzles.

As it turns out, nothing new.

After giving you four different crossword puzzles as potential replacements for our current crossword puzzle and then asking for your input as to what we should do, we found that you don’t want us to do anything.

Your votes were clear and overwhelming; you want us to keep the puzzle created by the Los Angeles Times. And that’s what we’ll be doing.

For those who need a briefing – or a reminder, this past spring The Forum began running a Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle after our longtime puzzle by Wayne Robert Williams was discontinued. Following the switch, our readers who enjoy doing crossword puzzles complained that the L.A. Times puzzle was too difficult or had obscure clues.

After months of the complaints, we gave our crossword puzzle enthusiasts four weeks of potential replacement puzzles. When that month was over, they voted to let us know if we should consider switching our current puzzle with one of the four new puzzles.

That’s where we are now. After going through all of the votes, it’s easy to understand that the preferred puzzle is the one we currently feature on the comics page.

For some insight, let’s go through the results of our surveys. We asked the readers to either mail back surveys that were printed in the paper or e-mail us with their results. So we’ll look at the results in those two groups.

In the surveys that were mailed back to us, 51 percent of those surveys picked the L.A. Times puzzle as the top choice. For comparative purposes, the second most popular puzzle was our first trial puzzle, made by Universal Media, which had 19 percent of the ballots selecting it as the favorite.

It wasn’t much different in the results sent to us via e-mail as 52 percent of those ballots had the L.A. Times puzzle as the top choice. The second most popular pick among the e-mailed surveys was the New York Times puzzle with 29 percent of the ballots picking it as the favorite. Though, it’s worth noting that almost all the ballots picking the New York Times puzzle as favorite selected the L.A. Times puzzle as its second choice.

From our perspective, these results show that we’re running the puzzle our readers want, so we won’t be making a change.

As always, feel free to contact me with any concerns or comments regarding the crossword puzzle or anything in the Life section.

Thanks for your help, and I hope you continue enjoying the puzzle.

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518 or rmorast@forumcomm.com