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Public Editor Sylvia Stead responds to readers and gives a behind-the-scenes look

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Public editor: Decision to cut KenKen puzzle being reviewed Add to ...

All readers will have their own preferences, but in my view, there are a number of features newspapers do that work equally well in the paper and online. Some, such as multimedia projects, video, obviously, or stories that cause a vigorous online debate, work better on the web.

And then there are the puzzles. I do Sudoku, and although I’ve tried it online, it’s not nearly as satisfying as doing it on paper, where you can take your time and come back to it, or add small numbers in until you figure it out.

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I assume the same is true for KenKen, a mathematical version of Sudoku.

On Monday, editors ran a note to readers in the paper saying that a few features in Life and Arts would be dropped from the print edition to free up space for journalism. Those features include horoscopes (which are free online Monday to Friday and appear in the Saturday Style section), Talking Points and KenKen.

Here is the note to readers:

“Today, we offer a refined weekday Life and Arts section. The new package features a renewed emphasis on the subjects our audience cares about most, including health, travel, television, film, food and wine. The section will continue to showcase award-winning Globe voices, including John Doyle, Beppi Crosariol, Chris Nuttall-Smith, Sarah Hampson, Erin Anderssen and Kate Taylor. It will also remain home to the Facts and Arguments essay. To maximize the print space available to our journalists, however, we will be dropping some features such as the KenKen puzzle. Horoscopes will also no longer run in the print edition, but they will continue in print in the Saturday Style section. Our Saturday Arts section, featuring extensive coverage of books, art, film, and more, remains unchanged. To access Sally Brompton’s daily forecasts please visit tgam.ca/horoscopes on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device.”

I heard from dozens of readers who were upset by the decision, with the greatest number unhappy about the loss of KenKen. They think it is a great puzzle that doesn’t take up much space and is one of the only math challenges, something that should be encouraged given our concern about Canadians’ math skills.

Many people start their day with a bit of fun, by reading the horoscope or doing a quick puzzle, while others love the puzzles for a brain exercise. Although the decision has been made on horoscopes, because of the space it needed and because it is so accessible online, the editors are reviewing the decision on KenKen.

If you have a view on this, please comment below or contact me at publiceditor@globeandmail.com

 

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