I’m putting the finishing touches to this month’s FORUM on the evening before Bonfire Night — tomorrow night my peace will no doubt be shattered by endless pyrotechnic displays. But at least it will all be over for another year. I’ve been getting thoroughly fed up with local youngsters letting off bangers under the office window as I slave on into the night, trying to lessen the strain on my overloaded In Tray. (I hope it is the local youngsters, not the Ludlow Mafia dropping hints about the annual renegotiation of their rates now that Newsfield has four magazines.) Either way, at least their supply of gunpowder will be removed from the Ludlow shops ere long....

A few weeks after you read this, it’ll be THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN — a bumper 196 pages of Christmas Special will be unleashed on the world, and affixed to it will be Issue Zero of LM. I hope you like them both.


Dear Lloyd,
An ‘original’ CRASH reader here (I collected a few mail-order catalogues back in 1983, as well as all the ‘proper’ issues of CRASH), with a slight moan. Why take the sudden decline in the pride of owning a Spectrum? For example, over 40% of my computer-owning friends have a Spectrum, and they all would prefer a 64! (I wouldn’t).

Some recent letters to the FORUM from Spectrum owners (e.g. Paul Tyler and especially PA Rasbotham) have stated in no uncertain terms that the Spectrum as we know it (certainly the 48K versions anyway), will soon be cashing in their micro-chips. All right, the machine may have successfully out-lived the guesses of the wildest optimists and therefore will probably soon disappear into the realms of history. But if software companies forget about it entirely, (again, I refer to 48K models), their profits will drop faster than the prices of Acorn shares last year (Ha!)

Glider Rider was a good idea, in that there are two separate versions contained on the tape, one for 48K machines and the other for 128K’s, but what a shame that that they relied on the sound for the 128 to lift the ratings above ‘good’ to the dizzy realms of Smash (well with 92% it was!). This consideration of the fact that the game on its own merits is just ‘good’ will surely persuade many 48K owners to buy something else instead. On the other hand, any prospective 128K buyers may be persuaded to buy the machine if many more games with the class of Glider Rider appear...

My real point is this: Let’s not be ashamed of owning a Spectrum, be it 48K, 16K or 128K. Just see what happened to the ancient armies when they lost a great deal of morale in a battle (don’t laugh at that, the ancient civilizations had a lot to teach which is still true today). If we all throw our Spectrums away or cease to buy games for them, of course no-one will produce any software, for who’ll buy it? There’s life in the old machine yet, and the programmers definitely have a few more surprises in store for us.

Sermon over, now moan No 2. A very few games, e.g. Id and Deus Ex Machina have received lengthy previews in CRASH, but no actual ratings! (Strange, they were both by Mel Croucher...) I thought that Id sounded like a great idea, but with no proper review and criticisms, I decided not to buy (playing it in a shop is not quite satisfactory, if, as in Id’s case, the game requires lengthy trial). So please LM, kick the reviewers (yes, all of them and yes, I do like using brackets) until they promise not to do this again. Really, though, that’s a very minor moan, but it is annoying...
Paul Hirdle

Quite right, too Mr Hirdle. It’s refreshing to hear someone putting some perspective onto the debate about the Spectrum’s viability for the future.

Clearly, there are a lot of Spectrums out there, and equally clearly, software houses are going to find it rewarding to continue writing good and innovative programs for the machine that has given so many people much pleasure. As the recently-elevated-to-higher-planes person, Graeme Kidd, said some months ago, it’s a chicken and egg situation when it comes to launching any computer: the hardware won’t sell unless there’s a good range of software to run on it, and the software isn’t economical to produce until a fair-sized user base is established.

Maybe Amstrad plan to phase out the Spectrum Plus as well as the 128K machine, leaving the Plus Two as the only games machine bearing the Spectrum name available in the shops. If this is the case, all new Spectrums will be 128K machines. Software houses will find it increasingly profitable to produce games that take full advantage of the extra facilities offered on the larger machine. Good news for everyone — because it’s unlikely that programmers and software publishers will be so foolish as to abandon the 48K owners.

As for Mel Croucher’s games.... at the time we looked at them, they really defied reviews that follow the normal approach for mainstream games, which is why they weren’t rated according to our ‘formal’ system. They were (and still are) somewhat ahead of their time, very different and worth investigating further.

I think you deserve the £20 of software this month for your cogent, well reasoned arguments. Auntie Aggie has been instructed to contact you in due course, Paul. There’s an early Christmas present on its way to you....


Dear Lloyd,
PSST! Have you heard about the software phenomenon? You haven’t; right I’ll tell you.

The INCENTIVE to produce software at the present time is huge; just IMAGINE the rewards to be reaped when sales of your new game CASCADE. Authors who write ADDICTIVE software are becoming a LEGEND in this GLOBAL industry, which is entertaining the NEW GENERATION. Every ACCOLADE is heaped on those who possess the vision that enables them to become the ELITE in their profession. On the other hand, there must be some who go over THE EDGE or disappear FASTER THAN LIGHT in the VORTEX created by the OCEAN of new releases, all part of someone’s DREAM to create the ULTIMATE work.

Who, in their wildest ELECTRIC DREAMS, could ever foresee that software would go BEYOND the Mainframes? Clive SINCLAIR and the pioneers who bought his masterpieces of DIGITAL INTEGRATION, and then gave our first tastes of alien-bashing; that’s who. They started a NU-WAVE of EPYX proportions, which evolved BRITTANIA as a nation of games PLAYERS.

We all wanted to fly an INTERCEPTOR, plan our ADVANCE on Berlin, or pull our hair out, as we went MAD trying to solve the latest ADVENTURE, INTERNATIONAL products soon found ACCESS to our shores, and we wanted plenty of this US GOLD.

If you are still a VIRGIN, it’s time to let the BUG-BYTE you; there are SOFTWARE PROJECTS to suit everybody. You may encounter the odd GREMLIN which will cause you to curse THOR or ODIN, but when the next ARTIC-load arrives at your local computer shop, you’ll be first in line to get the new Number 1.

After all, where else could you swim with PIRANHAs or ALIGATAs, duel with NINJAs, or shoot GARGOYLEs, and all in REALTIME too. I dread the day when the BUBBLE BUSts and the shops are no longer RAM JAM full with our favourite games: But even if the industry sank, like some latter day ATLANTIS, I have no doubt that the CREATIVE SPARKS in our schools today, would resurrect it, like the FIREBIRD of olden times. The SAGA is not over yet.
Aled Wynne Jones Owen


Dear Lloyd,
Sorry if my scrawl is almost illegible but bear with me. To the point: Who does that jumped up prat think he is anyway. Yes I talk about the one and only Gary Hollo(w brain)way. In his letter in Issue 34 he rants on about how POKEs are a waste of time and no self satisfaction is felt when the game is completed.

Personally I think this is a load of irrelevant crap and is unjust. Without POKEs Hannah Smith and Robin Candy (RIP) wouldn’t have had jobs...

When POKEs came in people were keen to use them. Since then the interest in hacks have increased. POKEs are really just to help people having difficulties in a certain part of a game and it is up to the individual, whether he or she wants to type them in.

Although I don’t use POKEs much because I’m an ace game player (sorree! flashes of vanity there), I still feel enough self-satisfaction to have completed a game, POKE or no POKE.

Not all games can be completed that easily even with a POKE, you may still get trapped and have to abort the game.

He also points out that people may go out, buy a new game, type in a POKE and inevitably complete it. What sort of jerk would do that? — no-one! People like him are degenerating the pages of FORUM.
Mark Langley

PS Hannah Smith is the most sexy, gorgeous, raunchy, words can’t describe girlie tipster in the whole realm of magazine marketing.

Like I said last month, each to his (or her) own when it comes to POKEs. Games are there to be enjoyed, and if POKEs help that enjoyment then use them, and if they don’t, then don’t go to all the trouble of typing them in. Simple really...

And Hannah (our very own palindromic Tipster) wouldn’t exactly take being described as a magazine marketing ploy, so I’d be careful what you say to her if you come to the ZX Microfair on 13th December — she’s promised to come along for the day you’ll be pleased to hear!


Dear Lloyd,
I thought I would write in to give you my views on P. A. Rasbotham’s letter (November’s Forum), which was pretty harsh on both the 48K and 128K Spectrums. It may be true that the Spectrum is outdated. It is true that it has colour problems and poor sound (on the 48K). But isn’t that to be expected? Spectrums were around at the time of the Vic 20, and look how far that box of old bolts got.

When P.A. says that attribute clash and poor sound are incurable, does he (or she) realise that this isn’t true? Just look at Lightforce, reviewed the same issue. Where’s the attribute clash? And there have also been programs in various mags to give more than one colour per attribute square — one in YS a while back, and, of course, one for the 128 a couple of months ago!

As for sound... well Okay, the 48K beeper ain’t wonderful, but some pretty nifty effects have been done before.

And to say that 128 sound isn’t much better is pretty daft. So the AY chip isn’t as good as old SID in the Commie, but so what! If you’re playing games then you don’t care if the chip has redefinable envelopes or whatever anyway! And I’m sure that this will soon change when the programmers get to it, just as much as 2 channel sound became possible on the 48K. And as to the computer halting while playing a note, has P.A. read issue 32’s TECH TIPS? Thought not!

To round off, I can confirm that the 128’s keyboard is BETTER than the Plus keyboard, because I own a 128 and my brother and sister have a Plus. And unlike P.A. Rasbotham I CAN recommend the 128 (to everyone), especially when you can pick them up for a measly £100 in some shops!

All in all, I hope that very few people agree with P.A.’s letter — we should be proud at the Spectrum’s good points (and there are lots!) and not moaning about its deficiencies!
David Clark

Alan Batty has much the same thing to say elsewhere this month, and there’s little I can add to your comments David.


Dear Lloyd,

I bought my son’s 48K Spectrum about 2 years ago, and as it’s been used just about every day since then, it’s been excellent value for money, and I’ve been thinking about buying the 128K Spectrum.

Like many other other people, I was disappointed to hear about the number of 48K games that will not work on the new computer, but the news of an improved Amstrad version raised my hopes, and I awaited the reviews.

After reading Simon Goodwin’s report in October’s CRASH, I’m disappointed again. The only real improvement seems to be the keyboard. The integral cassette deck sounds horrible: no tape counter, very slow rewind, and extra small pinchwheel. Let’s face it, no one would buy a tape recorder like that. A big disadvantage is the lack of an external tape socket, which it would seem to really need. Add to this the fact that you need adaptors to allow your existing joysticks to work, and that add-ons might not fit into the deeper recessed connector, and there’s a good case for re-considering the original 128K.

Everyone who has a 48K Spectrum also has a tape recorder, so there’s no problem there. I’ve read nothing about the 128 Plus 2 being able to load more 48K games than the original 128K, so unless I’ve got my facts wrong, I’ll be keeping an eye on the price of the first 128 Spectrum, and leaving the Amstrad version alone.
P. Hew

Well, the Plus Two does seem to have entered the market suffering from the same sort of teething problems encountered by earlier Sinclair Sinclair products.

Simon Goodwin points out how you can connect up an ordinary tape recorder to the Plus Two in TECH TIPS this month, but the snag is you have to invalidate your guarantee. But how else do you get a awkward tape to load...

Certainly the 128K Spectrum represents particularly good value at the moment, but several people have written to me saying that the old rubber keyed Spectrums, and sometimes even Pluses can be bought for around the £50-60 mark.

Perhaps there’s never been a better time to buy a Spectrum?


Dear Lloyd
If ignorance is bliss, PA Rasbotham must be very blissful. His letter in Issue 34 FORUM made my blood boil.

I’ve owned a 48K Spectrum for three long years, and whereas I wouldn’t say it was over the hill (though from where it’s standing it gets a good view of the valley) I decided it was time for an upgrade.

I decided to buy a cheap Spectrum 128K as opposed to the appalling Plus Two with its ‘quality’ Amstrad tape deck. This machine hasn’t merely got more memory than the old Spectrum but also has menu driven basic with full screen editor to name but a few of its goodies, and of course a pseudo 48K mode.

128 games are often a vast improvement over the 48K originals, and add a new dimension to their playing (I refer to Glider Rider — need I go on?)

As to his attack on the ‘prehistoric’ sound chip, he may be reminded the SID chip isn’t exactly in diapers anymore. I’m also a proud owner of an Amstrad 6128, and believe me, the sound on the 128K Spectrum is a vast improvement on the Amstrad’s, due to it being modulated onto the television signal, and yes it does come up to the Commie’s standard more often than not.

So I think ‘people’ like this Rasbotham should stick to their extravagant Commies, and not be so quick to dismiss the Spectrum 128, or indeed its distinguished predecessor.
Alan Batty

When it comes down to it, there’s no empirical way of settling such disputes — each computer has its relative merits and shortcomings, but as I said last month it’s not so much what the computer itself offers, it’s more to do with what can be done with it. The Commodore, Amstrad, Spectrum (and romping into prehistory myself for a moment, even the Memotech, Oric and the like) all have different potential to amuse, entertain and educate. My mother always used to remind me that you shouldn’t be quick to dismiss anything out of hand...


To Lloyd,
On the 14th October I saw that Jon Eggleton had at last achieved TV fame (well TELETEXT Channel 4 P 557). Here is what it said.

‘Kat-Trap is the result of an award-winning game design submitted by Jonathon Eggleton to the Crash GENESIS competition and was selected from 4,000 entries by a panel of judges.

‘The program gives a fast and furious romp through a myriad of scrolling screen sets, with the player controlling a mechanical, cat-like robot with Springy legs.

‘Kat-Trap will be available next month on Spectrum at £8.95 and Amstrad CPC at £8.95 (cassette) and £14.95 (disk).’

How about starting an eager beaver award and giving me the first one?
P Sankey

Another strange Christmas present request. Anyone would think I was Santa Claus...


Dear LM,
Every issue we read letters from readers offering their opinion as to how CRASH can be improved. I would like to offer my two penny worth — get rid of reviews, Crash Course, charts, Frontline, Playing Tips, Fear and Loathing (especially Minson’s garbage) and hand the pages over to the star of the show ... JETMAN.
Dave Bates

PS Jetman would be a good title for the new format magazine.

Fine for Jetman fans, but just think of all the other magazines we’d have to bring out just to keep everyone happy.

And just what’s wrong with MY initials?


Dear Lloyd,
Everyone seems to be complaining about all the 3D games in the market. This seems to me to be especially silly when you consider that in issue 33 you reviewed six times more ‘boring old 2D games’ than 3D ones. Whether everyone has been especially dim or not, nobody has realised that 3D is here to stay and will be the industry standard in 12 months time. Anyway, what’s wrong with 3D? 2D is dead! Long live Filmation (c).

Yours in perspective,
Robert Lines

I’m not so sure about the ‘Industry Standard’... but there’s certainly plenty of life left in the Knight Lore type format as programmers such as Jon Ritman of Batman fame continue to show.


Dear Lloyd,
Someone has been messing around with the wordsquares again. Not content with messing about with the Exploding Fist wordsquare (printing ZZAP RULES OK on the bottom line) some person has gone and put in the left hand column of the W.A.R. Wordsquare ZZAPYRULHESOKW. Takes out the Y, H and W and what do you get — ZZAP RULES OK.

Is the Comps Minion going bonkers? Does he like ZZAP! more than CRASH, or have the evil Penn and Rignall been up to their tricks yet again? Whoever it is, I’m sure the Ludlow gibbet could do with another person!
Stephen Coby

The Comps Minion has just come up to the CRASH office, bearing a tray full of tea — a cup for everyone. It was totally unsolicited, so I don’t think he has anything against CRASH. (He must be in a particularly good mood — maybe he’s just finished writing all the competitions for the next issue...)

It’s a clear case of the Spikey Haired Ones putting their Spikes in, as far as I can see.


Dear Lloyd,
I just had to write after reading Robert Hayden’s ridiculous letter in the November issue of your well known broadsheet. This moronic prat actually seems to ENJOY giving all his money to the overcharging software mega-corporations. What a wally! There were plenty of decent games in 1983, my dear Hayden (maybe you still hadn’t been born) the difference was that the software houses didn’t spend all their money on hype, meaning lower prices. Pathetic little creeps like you, Hayden will only succeed in convincing people like Ultimate (remember their 100% price increase?) and others that they should double their prices.
Electrostatically yours, Zenith Kodachrome, Planet X

PS Don’t you think that Ultimate have turned in to a computer version of Status Quo?

PPS Isn’t this an aggressive letter?

Plenty of decent games in 1983, certainly, but three years ago £5 bought a lot more than £5 does today. And the quality of software has, largely, improved as a result of more effort, time and money invested in the development of games. These two factors are bound to lead to higher prices, but admittedly not all ‘full price’ games released today improve on the standards of 1983. Most of them do, however, which is why I still agree with Roberts’s sentiments.

And no and Yes.


Dear Lloyd,
I was playing on the new MASTERTRONIC game Video Olympics when I saw an advertisement like the ‘Coca Cola’ sign, but in fact, when I looked closely it said ‘Cocaina’. Well it isn’t very funny as a joke because it kills hundreds upon hundreds worldwide every year. In my opinion it is a sick joke and I shall be very reluctant in buying future Mastertronic games.

Yours not laughingly
Jason Lindsay

Doesn’t sound very clever to me either, Jason. I haven’t been able to talk to Mastertronic about the point you raised, and haven’t actually played the game in question myself. But I’m sure it’s not the kind of thing the Powers That Be at Mastertronic would approve of. Often such little ‘jokes’ are put into programs (and sometimes the files of typesetting prepared for our very own ART department) and the perpetrators intend them to be intercepted.

The silly part of doing such things, is occasionally someone’s attention wanders and something that shouldn’t slips through in the heat of a busy moment. Maybe someone at Mastertronic would like to pass comment?


Dear Lloyd,
I am writing to you in reply to R J West’s letter in the October issue of CRASH.

I too was an Ultimate fan until the release of Pentagram (Incidentally, why was this boring game Smashed?). I disagree with his view that Odin are the leading software house in the country. Has he forgotten the likes of Melbourne House, Bubble Bus, Ocean and in my view the best of the lot, Elite?

These four companies, with the possible exception of Bubble Bus (although Starquake is definitely a classic), have all had a long list of excellent games behind them, for example The Hobbit, Ghosts ’n’ Goblins and, of course Match Day, these three games are all classics.

I admit that Odin are a good company with obvious programming talents, but you need a lot more excellent games (ie CRASH Smashes) than three to become the country’s leading software house.
Simon Davis

The accolade of ‘The Country’s Leading Software House’ is one that could be rested on several sets of shoulders — it all depends on when you seek to make the award. For instance Bubble Bus and Melbourne House seem to have gone into a bit of a lull recently, and we’ve seen nothing for ages from Ultimate (although they’re rumoured to be doing work for the Japanese games consoles made by NINTENDO at the moment.

I’m not going to let you have my nomination for ‘Leading Software House’ — it wouldn’t be fair to prejudice the result of the Annual CRASH Readers’ Awards. Voting forms will be available in the Christmas Special in a few weeks’ time, so if you feel strongly on the subject, make your voice heard!


Dear Lloyd,
I am just writing to make a BIG point. Computer games can be very expensive (eg £9.99), when they could be quite cheap. Lots of money is spent on advertising and promotion. If this was not so, games would be cheaper and more people would buy them. For instance, 8 out of 10 of my friends copy games that are quite dear, but only 2 out of 10 copy games with the price tags of £1.99, £2.99 (cheapskates). If the games were cheaper, England would be a more law abiding country and the game manufacturers just as rich.
Simon Green

PS Happy Christmas

Thank you for your kind sentiment Simon — you’re the second of the season to pass on such greetings (Gareth Jones came in first with the earliest Christmas card this year).

Your argument that it is the manufacturers who make criminals out of people really doesn’t make too much sense — people generally break the law by choice. There may be some kind of merit in the argument that stealing food if you are starving and have no money to buy anything to eat shouldn’t be considered criminal, but pirating games just because you can’t afford them is definitely a criminal act. I can’t afford the Rolex Oyster watch on display in the Ludlow jewellers, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to steal it just because I can afford a Swatch...

Advertising and promotion cost money, but without it customers don’t get to know that a game is available for sale and shops won’t stock it. It’s doubtful that manufacturers would be able to sell vast quantities of cheap games and still make enough money to fund the six month’s development work that commonly goes into a full-price game. So the quality of games would suffer, and it’s the players who would suffer in the long run.


Dear Lloyd,
Just a few words about the 128K Plus Two. I would like to congratulate Amstrad for producing this machine. The colour is good and no more of this shifted key crap. The only thing is the name “Spectrum 128K Plus Two” I mean couldn’t they think of some name. I am going to call mine ‘Christine’! When reviewing games will you print what the program runs on. You could use this code: 48K +A; 48K Plus +B; 128+ C; 128 Plus Two +D and then print on the review ‘Computer C,D only’ for instance. Well that’s all I want to say.
Michael Quone

PS If you print this letter it would be a good hint for my Mum on what to buy me for a Chrissie present!

Whatever do you want a load of A’s B’s C’s and D’s in your Christmas stocking for Michael?

Cameron Pound, the CRASH ‘Ace Lensperson’ uses a 128K Spectrum in his photography room (which incidentally is now the old CRASH office. We’ve moved into the old Newsfield boardroom which Hannah is doing her best to clutter up with PLAYING TIPS FOLDERS, sandwich wrappers, Girlie Tipster stickers, bottles of Perrier and Malvern water and all the other things she seems to need around her to survive the day. There’s so much space, even she’s having difficulty filling it!)

Getting back to the point, though, Cameron lets us know if he has any problems loading games on the 128K and so far he hasn’t run into many. At the moment, we’ll probably just report on problems we encounter rather than introducing a new system, but who knows what the New Year will bring?


Dear Lloyd,
I wish to say how disgusted I am with Software in general. Although the standard of graphics and sound is excellent, almost all software (99% of it at least) is the same.

It’s all either shoot the little men, an escape to freedom, save the world with a magic book, destroy the evil machine, or collect all the keys... and it’s all very boring.

I think that the best games I’ve ever played are Deus ex Machina and Movie (I know that Movie is an arcade adventure, but it’s got originality of plot and loads of atmosphere).

I’m afraid that because software houses are too afraid to try something radically different from the same old humdrum, that computers will die out. This would be a great shame because a lot of enjoyment can be derived from playing a game or from programming. And now with the arrival of the 128K and +2 Spectrums a whole new set of opportunities have appeared. (Before all the 48K owners think oh no! Here’s another one raving on about his 128K. Well, I don’t have a 128K. I have a Spectrum.)

So come on Ocean, US Gold, Imagine, Quicksilva and all the others, let’s see some new and interesting concepts tried out. You may not get it right first time, but think of it as a long term investment in your future. Long live Nu Wave and Mel Croucher.
Richard Fitzpatrick

I’m all for innovation myself, but the sad fact is it doesn’t always prove commercially viable. Mel Croucher would be the first to agree — sales of Deus were pitifully low, even though it collected a host of awards for originality. There are only a handful of basic games according to Mel Croucher and everything else is derivative to some extent. As long as people are happy buying highly derivative games that are produced to a formula, people will keep writing them and selling them. Now and again there are some different moves made, perhaps like Trapdoor from Piranha, but innovation tends to happen gradually rather than via Quantum Leaps.


Dear Lloyd,
There have been quite a few letters complaining about games like Street Hawk being advertised months (in this case, over a year) early, but I think that Digital Integration must hold the world record. Look back to the November 1984 issue of CRASH. On page 158 of this issue TT Racer was advertised: this was not previewed until September or reviewed until October 1986.

Please print this letter, as I was so wide awake in noticing this, and cos it’s my Birthday soon. Sorry about the bad writing, but I’m only 12 (13 soon), and I’ve only written one letter before. Gotta go — here comes teacher.

Better a game be late than never arrive, Zerbal! I’m not sure whether DI do deserve a World Record... Any statisticians out there care to re-read some CRASHes and let me know if there’s a challenger?


Dear Mr Mangram,
I would like to point out some things that have come to my attention concerning your magazine. First of all, since Issue Four the paper has become considerably thinner, and yet you say that you need to raise the price to subsidise the ever rocketing price of printing paper. If you raise the price then surely you can afford to keep the quality of CRASH up to its usual high standard — it is now more like single-ply tissue paper than part of a first-rate magazine. Please remember some of us have to back our school books in it — apparently the only use for advertisements.

Not that I disagree with the price, it offers much more value than other magazines I could mention, but c’mon Lloyd, what’s happening? Is the extra money going towards the “Lloyd Mangram pension fund”, or even the “Lloyd Mangram holidays in Bahamas” number.

Now for some other points: first of all since Hannah Smith was appointed ‘head of playing tips’, this section has (in my opinion) improved ten-fold. (a mighty blow for fem. lib). I don’t know whether this is due to Hannah being a superior tipster than Robin Candy, or because more tips are being sent in and the standard is generally higher. One last thing — your FORUM seems to be taking over the whole magazine, it will end up containing nothing but Forum.

Thanks for reading and keep up the good work!
Paul Sarson

Pensions? Holidays?

Just because you’ve got wind of the fact that the Power That Be came to some small arrangement concerning the use of my initials on a new magazine (Available free with the Christmas Special — as they keep telling me to say), it doesn’t mean I’m treated any better.

Besides, I think you must be suffering from some strange tactile illusion, Paul. I checked the substance of your allegation with the Production Department and they assure me the quality of the paper used in CRASH hasn’t changed for over two years. For the technically minded, the cover is printed on 115gsm coated paper, while the pages use 60gsm WSOP (whatever that may be).

Hannah asks me to tell you that she’s flattered, but doesn’t believe she’s been striking blows for fem. lib. She might have struck a blow or two for Girlie Tipster lib, but a certain Dame kept backing down. Without the help of readers, though, any tipster is bound to have problems...

And that’s another collection of your letters dealt with. With a bit of luck, I should manage to get all my work for LM and the Christmas Special done in time to do my Christmas shopping by post. It takes a long time to decide what to buy for whom, but shopping for presents from a catalogue is infinitely preferable to fighting through the seasonal crush in town. Almost as pleasant as leafing through the 1987 Suttons Seeds catalogue...

Don’t forget, send your opinions, praise and pension fund contributions to me at Lloyd Mangram’s Forum.