Sunday 11 December 2016

The Puzzler

The Puzzler was a weekly periodical which ran for 14 issues from 26th October 1933 to 25th January 1934. It was published by Thomas de la Rue & Co. Ltd. of London in a large format measuring 33cm x 23cm.

Betts 42-7 records this short lived publication in the Problems, Periodicals section, although the chess content is meagre. Betts does not name the publisher but notes that each issue had 16 pages with 2 pages devoted to chess problems. Betts also states that the editors' names were not given and that the issues were unnumbered, however, the first issue is clearly numbered.

Chess Periodicals by Gino Di Felice records this at no. 1910, stating that the publisher is unknown and repeating the information from Betts. Di Felice also states "no availability found." However, complete runs of this periodical can be found in The British Library, The National Library of the Netherlands and The Cleveland Public Library, although, curiously, none of them names the publisher.

The Puzzler is also recorded in Chess Columns: A List by Ken Whyld who adds that it was succeeded by The Sphinx at Play with Comins Mansfield as chess problem editor.

The chess content in the first issue consisted of problems by Edouard Pape and Z. Kolodnas, both specially composed for The Puzzler, details of a competition for problem solvers, a Play-Study and a Twin Three-er. An Interesting Game, from Russia, is given between Clemens and Eisenschmidt, and the second page announces a Grand Composing Tournament for two-move chess problems to be judged by Comins Mansfield.  

While no editors are named, there is a strong connection throughout issue one with Hubert Phillips, the prolific author of books on problems and puzzles. There is a long contribution from Phillips in the Contract Bridge pages, the Footprints in the Snow problem, which takes up another page, is from Phillips' 1932 publication The Week-End Problems Book, and four of the large adverts, including the whole of the back page, are for works by Phillips. 

I only have the first issue of this magazine; the vendor from whom I purchased this collected only the first issue of each periodical and no others!

© Michael Clapham 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment