What is WGR? A brief history of the magazine that cannot be named
In late 1983, I started irregular publication of a print
(you remember those, they were made of paper), whose full name I am not
legally allowed to use anymore. It had the initials WGR, frequently
referenced on many of the pages on our site, as many of the articles
here originated in the magazine. The
first ten issues were produced on a 1982 vintage IBM PC, and stored on
5-1/2" floppy disks (it's a miracle the original files still
exist). The earliest issues were printed on a daisy wheel
printer with graphics pasted in; only the last few issues were laser-printed with more modern fonts and graphics.
At its peak, right before it folded, it had a circulation of well over 300, scattered all over the world (about 25 countries besides the US). The magazine lost money over its run and was barely turning a profit even at the end. On March 17, 2000 (a Friday afternoon), I received an e-mail from an organization (which I will not name) who claimed my title infringed on their trademark (possibly true; though in 16 years of operation I did not even know their organization existed). They also made a completely false and baseless accusation of copyright infringement. Without any legal representation, I asked knowledgable friends for advice, but I was told that I could well lose a trademark lawsuit and be liable for substantial damages. I had no option but to suspend publication. I never heard anything from the organization since, though I found that they wanted to use my title for a publication of their own.
WGR published articles on a host of varied topics in the game and puzzle field, many of them in areas not covered heavily by other publications. Issues 9 and 10 were both special issues devoted to one specific topic. When WGR13 appeared, I was just starting to get seriously involved in card solitaire, and Giza first saw print in English there. Special issues were planned on card solitaire and cryptarithms, but never appeared. Some of the highlights of the thirteen issues which exist are listed in the table below:
|1||Nov 83||27||taxonomy of games, Pyraminx, Risk, backgammon openings, Guillotine, Mem|
|2||Mar 84||33||Latino, Morra-Board, Super Crazy Eights, Skewb, Avalanche Chess|
|3||Sep 84||32||Orion, the world's best games, polycubes (start of regular feature on polyforms)|
|4||Feb 85||30||Collective Hangman, ImpossiBall, dice games, metagames|
|5||Sep 85||27||Realm, Risk, Sparkle, solitaire Lap, Baconian cipher, Ultima|
|6||Sep 86||52||cumulative index, postal games, Free Choice Chess, Hexomino problems|
|7||Oct 87||33||domino constructions, large polyform sets, Rubik's Magic, new chess variants|
|8||Jul 88||38||cryptarithms, Lachaino, peg solitaire, new sports games and card games|
|9||Dec 89||28||Polyforms: The Birds and the Bees, polyarcs, an 82 year history|
|10||Jun 91||99||Chess Variants: index, bibliography, rules, inventors, sample games|
|11||Jun 92||38||polyform interior holes, Castawords, mail order catalogs, peg solitaire|
|12||Jan 94||52||index (7-12), puzzle reviews, Amazons, Super Crazy Eights, Palabra|
|13||Feb 98||38||game and puzzle fonts, Giza, dice games, chess variants, The Great Dalmuti|
As I do not think that specialized print magazines are viable
anymore in the Internet age, it is unlikely that WGR will ever be
physically published in any form, but a long-term goal of this website
is to publish old articles from WGR (revised as needed) and articles
that exist in electronic form but which were never printed. Some
of these will appear as free articles on the website.
One full issue and several articles have now been posted, particularly:
WGR Index of Chess Variants. Corrected version of WGR10.
WGR Guide to Hexomino Puzzles. Original version of the supplement published in WGR6, with new diagrams, additional hexomino material from WGR, and previously unpublished solutions.
Others are planned for the future:
The Puzzle Laboratory Guide to Twisting Puzzle Solutions: Rubik's Cube and its variants, Pyraminx, Skewb, Impossiball, and many more.
The WGR Index of Chess Variants. Expanded and corrected version of WGR10 with added material from other issues (including Paul Yearout's series on Avalanche Chess and Ultima), unpublished material, and an updated resource guide
The Puzzle Laboratory Guide to Cryptarithms. Contains introductory material from WGR8 as well as a special issue that was never published.
The Puzzle Laboratory Guide to Latin Square Puzzles. Detailed resource guide to Sudoku and its many variations.
Most recently edited on March 14, 2021. This article is copyright ©2021 by Michael Keller. All rights reserved.