Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossnumber, a quarterly check in with the numberical and usually logic-based set of challenges.
Xanthippe appears to be combining letters and numbers in this challenge. Non-overlapping numbers, a code, and eventually some number plates. I had to google some images of number plates to see this is the way they look in the UK. I’m used to the US where it’s three letters and four numbers, and the state is underneath the letters and numbers. The other three Xanthippe puzzles I’ve tried have been word puzzles, and I got all of them with varying degrees of struggle – Girl with the little cut-out holes, 364 263 (I wonder if this will be archaic soon as most people use mini-keyboards for texting), and way back at the beginning of the blog, Solitaire.
I wonder if there’s an award for failed starts? My first attempt at working out the numbers came to a brutal end…
So it was back to the drawing board – couldn’t for the life of me figure out what had gone wrong. This one came unstuck even earlier than the first one (I think I was making a wrong assumption for i and the first number in 4.
OK, back to the drawing board yet again. Be very very careful and don’t make any quick assumptions. This time for the win!
FINALLY!!!! A grid. It works, it works! Now to work out the letter part of it. The words went in OK, though I had AWK instead of LAV. The penny dropped very quickly while filling in those three-letter words, as I saw state abbreviations appearing in the two-character blocks reading from top to bottom. Aaaaah, so I should be able to put most of the rest of the states in the left hand side, leaving the rest in the middle. Right? Right?
Aaaaaah – couldn’t get it to work, and then I figured it out. That square root could be positive or negative! That gives me somewhere to put NY!
Time to leave nothing to chance… I typed up a spreadsheet of the list of state abbreviations and their numerical values and sorted them numerically. I put in all the unique values and tied the rest together to get what I think we’re after – the completed grid!
Wow! That was an outstanding puzzle, and I managed to succeed in spite of myself, I believe. Thanks for the challenge and really amazing grid, Xanthippe. Let’s call this one a Victory to George. It went out in the mail on Thursday, which for me is cutting it very fine in getting the crossword to its destination. I hope it got there.
2012 tally: 6-0-1
Feel free to criticize my numerical skills below, and see you next week for some confusion with Tea Leaves.