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The year of numberhell continues

Another week, another day late, but I think regular readers are getting used to it.  I used to have a break on Friday mornings just before the new Listener would appear, well that break has disappeared so my usual routine is gone.  Speaking of gone… it’s Radix taking a shot at numbers.  I’ve tackled a few word puzzles by Radix (and several more Radix-influenced Listeners by Mango and Qid).  Most recently was Taste and Fancy which I managed without too much trouble, the two-for one Double Cross which I crawled to a finish on but I didn’t get very far on the Playfair challenge Argentum.  So what have we here…

Sides and diagonals of boxes in base-24.  That’s an odd challenge.  I’ll admit I read the preamble four or five times before trying to work my way through it.  I picked the two smallest numbers and tried pen-and-paper possibilities, but didn’t get very far.  This looked like too much of a challenge for Excel… I wrote a FORTRAN program to generate the possibilities.  There appeared to be only two possibilities for E and three for D, but most other letters had a large number of possibilities.  This was looking like the brute force of all brute forces.

Anyone read “The Portable Door” by Tom Holt?  Early on, the protagonist is given reams and reams of sheets of paper with numbers on them and told to sit and find patterns in them.  I felt just like that for the next two hours, banging my head against lists and lists of numbers looking for the way in.  It didnt come.

My working grid for Listener 4256, Boxes by Radix

This is the year of numberwang!  Early mistakes and lack of perception have rendered me completely impotent on the numerical puzzles this year, with only one left for redemption!  Yikes.  Victory to Radix and the Listener crossword.

Wow I’m having a bad year.  I think part of it is taking on some new commitments and a much stranger performing schedule, but maybe I’ve peaked and I’m on the downhill slide.

2013 tally  22-7-5

Feel free to tell me to quit when I’m ahead (or not too far behind) and see you next week when Ferret entertains our shorts.


One Response

  1. This was one of those puzzles which seemed to require extreme patience. During the solving process I must have pored over many thousands of numbers in excel cells looking for matches, and never did find an efficient way of working through it all. The main keys came from learning how to do base-24 arithmetic, where you discover that all odd square numbers end in A or I, and the options for even squares are also constrained, but I never saw this — instead, the limits of excel seemed to tie me to working in base 10 for the most part.

    If you see the logical path to solving this it’s a remarkable puzzle and the construction is seriously impressive. However RADIX came up with this I’ll never know.

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