Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossnumber. It’s that time of the quarter again where our mathematical and logic brains get tested out.

The Times Crossword Club have now decided that setters need less recognition, and rather than having them up the top in the title, they’re in tiny little letters just before the preamble. So this time we have Hedgehog, who appears to be a new setter or a newdonym, so hi Hedgehog, if you’re looking in.

What have we here – the numbers 2-27, mathematical permutations and… misprints in every clue??? But 25 across is just one letter (note to self, I’ve solved something already – 25 across is not A). How is this going to work? Certain misprints spell out a title.

Well that is new, I don’t think I’ve seen misprints in numerical crosswords before, nice twist there Hedgehog.

This didn’t arrive at the greatest time – I was out of town, and although I managed to print it on the hotel’s computer on Sunday morning (I didn’t know that it originally went out without a title), the only program it would print from is Chrome, which seems to make a mess of some formatting. The grid was wedged right against the edge of the paper. Chrome, I like most features of your browser, but please fix the printing!

Wow this looks hard… there does appear to be a way in, since there can’t be that many I^(L^S) that will fit in the space. Hedgehog does appear to have turned the normal route for numericals upside down, usually I start off by looking for small entries with a bunch of factors. A little playing around and it appears the only thing that’s going to work there is 65536 (4^(2^3)) which means I may or may not be 4, L may or may not be 2 and S may or may not be 3. Ummm, OK.

16 down and 26 across look like the next best ones to play with. To fit in three characters no letter could be bigger than 7, and it appeared 5 and 2 were going to have to appear in each, so it ends in a 0. 14 down was either a cube of I (which may or may not be 4), multiplied something, or a square of I multiplied by two things. If we take that I is 4, then 96 would fit as 4X4X3X2. I is looking very 4-ey. T has to be 3 or 2, since it can’t be the misprint, and the other misprint is 3 or 2. Which means one of the misprints in I^L^S is T or the other misprint. Can’t be both, so there’s probably a misprinted T in I^L^S and a misprinted L or S in this one which is 2 or 3.

Ummm…

Does any of that make sense?

The rest of the week flew by with occasional glances to work out the I,T,L,S dilemma (and then what would be 5? was it K,X,Z or a misprint common to 16 and 26?). But I’m afraid my feeble brain was getting no further with this one. Congratulations, Hedgehog – you have stopped a run of me mailing in an entry (correct or incorrect) every week this year, and you’re in the running for the George V Listener Emptiest Grid award (the honor for 2011 belongs to BeRo).

And with that, I sheepishly accept my first utter victory to the Listener Crossword for 2012. I don’t think since Oyler had the three-gridder a few years ago that I’ve been so flummoxed by a numerical crossword. Congratulations, Hedgehog!

2012 tally: 25-1-6

Feel free to roast my mathematical inabilities, and we’ll see you next week when a triple apparently turns into the cycle(opedia).

Filed under: Listener Crosswords, Uncategorized | Tagged: Hedgehog |

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