Cheapskate0 speculated that the purpose of the Jumbler story was as a dual-promotion of both the Dick Tracy strip and the Jumble feature. Whether or not this was true, it did cause me to read and solve each Jumble connected with the strip so in that sense, the cross promotion worked. I thought the cross promotion was in good fun.
The Jumbler arc was not spectacular but “OK.” Will we see Jumbler again in a future Tracy arc? Maybe but doubtful—he is not in the same league with Mumbles, BB Eyes, or even Doubleup. His motivation (as stated by Tracy today) is a bit thin to expect more crimes from him.
I am not generally a fan of villains whose purpose seems to be outwitting the police by sending them clues. (Blackjack also falls into this category). I prefer criminals who are motivated by greed to get money or power and want to fly under the radar. The last thing a criminal would want to do is notify the police. This is a “Crime” strip not a “Super Hero” strip.
I did enjoy seeing the MCS doing actual detective work searching for clues. However it all seemed too easy. Where were the “Red Herrings?” This case was solved so easily that it could have been handled by MCS in their sleep.
The ending was a bit lame. After a big build-up, it seems anti-climatic for Tracy to simply go over and arrest the perp (same thing happened in the Phishface arc). Where was the excitement? Where was the sense of danger? The most violent thing that happened in this arc was Sam falling through the floor.
I didn’t hate the Jumbler arc (it was fun while it lasted). The Jumble puzzles allowed for reader participation which was fun. But it is FAR from my favorite Tracy story.