Dumber or dummer?

That’s weird – the first time I posted this, I got bumped out of WordPress, and half of it disappeared… which is weird, because I thought there was some sort of autosave.  Eh…

Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword.  the Internet’s top source for feeling better about being unable to do the Listener Crossword.  Or in this week’s case, cross-number!

Four times a year we’re invaded by grids of the numerical kind and this one was by Ruslan – been a while since Ruslan had a listener, but Ruslan’s Beating the Bookies was the first crossnumber commented on in George v the Listener, and I had it correct, though I’d done some sloppy digit transposition in the grid.

I think I have some form of number dyslexia anyway, whenever I try one of these I always swap two digits or think “9” and write “7”.  I’m very glad for my cellphone which saves me having to dial numbers, though I talk to fewer random people now.

OK, there’s two grids, a starting letter (I guess meaning that the left grid is the English one) and ten prime numbers to be fitted into a bunch of mathematical equations.  This doesn’t look too bad, and it appears that there’s a logical way in.

24 and 19 are both squares that meet in the bottom corner, so they should be two of either {11,19,29} or {13,17,23}.  So far so good.

15 is BD^2 so I just need to look through the possibilities for B that lead to an answer than can intersect with 24ac.

Once I’ve done that I should just need to examine values of I since 21 across is A*B*I and it will have to fit in with 15 and 19.

OKeydokey… well five hours of number crunching later, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is not a set of D,A,B,I that fits this.

Let’s come back to it.

Fresh mind… maybe I wasn’t doing something right – spend three hours putting together an Excel spreadsheet that spits out values of 15, 19, 21, and 24 if I enter values of D,A,B,I – confirm that  I hadn’t done this incorrectly.  There is no combination that fits.

What the?

Look back through the clues… well 13 has Z^3 in it and is three letters long, but there’s also a subtraction before that, so no guarantee that it’s going to limit Z to being 2,3,5 ot 7.  Though it probably does.

Oh Florida, what are you doing to me?  Innocent looking corner of the grid that is plotting my demise!

I’m done for… I guess there is a solution, but my number-crunching brain is out of juice.  I don’t even have a single entry in the grid, so no need to scan the thing.  Congratulations, Ruslan, you win the Empty Grid Award 2011!

I’m flummoxed!

Victory to Ruslan and the Listener Crossword!

2011 tally:  Listener 8, George 26.  Current streak:  Listener 1.

Feel free to point out my mathematical inadequacies below, and see you next week to find out if I’m Inn on Mr. Lemon’s joke.

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7 Responses

  1. Hi George.

    You weren’t trying to put in numbers, were you? I think the preamble said letters…..

  2. No, I was trying to fit letters… just looked at the Listen With Others solution and I had noted down D=19, A=11, B = 7 gives 15=TFTS, but that no possibilities worked for I.

    So somewhere I had a mathsplosion and never recovered.

  3. The hardest thing about the numericals is often backtracking after a slip – I think I convinced myself that there was no SE corner solution at one point and had to restart the logic trail. Mathsplosion is a good descriptor.

    Feel free to list your former teachers so that we can all rule you out of 20a, by the way………..!

  4. I got as far as ‘proving’ A=11, B=17, D=10, I=29 in the RH grid. and then found there was no possible 22dn. Having failed to find where I’d gone wrong, I decided life was too short to go through all the possibilities again and gave up. (I see now that I had pencilled in the correct letters for B=7, but written the wrong value down 😦 )

  5. Looks like numerical dyslexia and mathsplosion is running rampant. I’m feeling a little better about not getting a grip on this one.

  6. I usually find I can do the numerical puzzles with no problem. My only ever Listener prize was for a numeric puzzle. However this one defeated me. I could only find one valid solution and hence I could only fill in the left grid. I went through it three times on three separate days and got the same result each time.

  7. […] set four Listeners, all numerical – the last one was Number Or Nummer which ended up in my Hall of Shame with the Empty Grid Award for 2011.  I didn’t get a […]

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