All puzzles are graded using the proprietary Magpie© scale, which is like the Beaufort scale or the Richter scale, only marginally less scientific.

This scale goes from “A” (which is defined as being only slightly more difficult than a standard broadsheet cryptic) through “C” (about as hard as an average Listener) all the way to “E” (the test-solvers struggled) .

Solvers should expect a range of grades each month, with E being the rarest.