i Editor's Letter: We are here to serve


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The Independent Online


Oh dear. It was quite rash picking Jeannie Hay's letter for Your View yesterday, but I thought we should test the waters. Ms Hay complained about crosswords; that i's cryptic was too hard. I'm not an aficionado, but I thought that was the point?

Jeannie and a dozen others who wrote to i are unhappy about the clues being interdependent on each other. A bad thing, it appears. Although some wrote that they liked our degree of difficulty, others, most of whom appear to be newer i readers from the Telegraph, were so unhappy they are contemplating going back to their former read!

Welcome to all you new readers. As such, some will be unfamiliar with our ways. We take real pride in being different from some papers and really responding to readers. i did not launch with a daily cryptic, nor a daily codeword – both exist in response to readers' requests.

However, there is barely a day when someone doesn't write in to say that the codeword/sudoku/maths puzzle is too easy/too difficult (it is roughly 50-50).

One reader said the concise was too hard, so I tried it last Saturday. With the aid of teen clever clogs, I dashed it off. Nevertheless, mindful of reader Dick Bentley's advice that "crosswordistas are never happy", here's a pledge: we will keep a much beadier eye on the cryptic to see if Jeannie has a point, but we really can't have you deserting i when you all say such kind things about us in every other respect.

So here's an idea (from reader Neil Winchurst): subscribe to i annually. If you STILL miss the Telegraph's cryptic, try puzzles.telegraph.co.uk where you can subscribe for £30 a year – and still be quids in. Then, tell all your friends. Now, I might have just broken some unwritten rule, but we are here to serve.