Do they teach you how to play golf there?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword and a last chance in the year of numberhell – I have not only failed, but failed spectacularly on the other three numerical puzzles this year, and so along comes Oyler, who was even taunting me in comments last week.

So now it’s Oyler, who is a regular reader, so hi Oyler!  Last year Oyler gave us one of my favorites, the cube-net cutting puzzle 2X2X2 (which I got), before that was Elementary Number Theory, which I messed up near the end, Digimix, which I messed up near the middle, Pentomino Factory, which I got, and the less said about Odd One Out the better.

I know it’s not in the spirit of the numerical Listeners, but given my run of luck on number transcription, I opened up Excel straight away… there’s only 8 numbers to find, they are all primes, and they add to 600… hmmm, so that must eliminate most primes.  Playing with the combinations leads to 97, 97 and 83 having to be present, and nothing smaller than 41.  There’s only 5 combinations I found that added to 600.  Brute force may not be necessary!

A lot of answers seem to be just sums of these which would limit the first digit of the answer.  This gave me what seemed like a logical starting point… 4 down is W+E+T which has to start with 1 or 2. 3 across is (D-A)D which has to be even, so it ends in 2.  E and W both have to be at least 10 more than D and D has to be bigger than A, which means D has to be 79 or smaller.  N has to be bigger than A… but since 28 down is a multiple of 16 across, N has to be just a little bit bigger than A.

OK this initially gives five options for D and A- (79,71), (71, 59), (67,61), (61, 59) and (47, 41).  I can eliminate (47, 41) since none of my “add to 600” lists has both 47 and 41.  12 down is the square of A, the third digit of which is the first digit of 18 across, which has to be between 248-548. This eliminates it down to(67,61) and(79,71).  (67,61) leaves nowhere for N to go, so (79,71) it is.  This makes N 73 and W and E have to be 97 and 89.

Wow!  One long logic step and more than a half of the numbers are pretty well nailed down.  Just a few more checks and there is a full grid.

Now to those dates… 1?1? and ?0?3.  Hmmmm… symmetrically positioned zeroes – there’s not many of those in the grid.  There’s a 3 in the bottom left and an 0 near the middle… 2013 along the diagonal? Well that is this year.  What’s on the other diagonal? 1413.  600 years… Wikipedia 1413 and find that the University of St Andrews was founded around then.  Their website is touting this year as the 600th anniversary, and the eight letters used are in ST ANDREWS.  So I believe we have it!

My working grid for Listener 4270, Alma Mater by OylerBarring any horrible transcription errors (and I did this all from a spreadsheet, so I hope it’s OK), I think we can call this a Victory to George!  With a major assist to Excel.

97 9409 A W(41-73) 97 SET Combinations
89 7921 559 S E(41-73) 89 SET 97 97 97 97 97
83 6889 600 D(>A)(<E) 79 SET 89 89 89 89 89
79 6241 596 N 73 SET 83 83 83 83 83
73 5329 590 W A 71 SET 79 79 79 79 73
71 5041 546 S (less than W) 41 83,41 73 73 73 71 71
67 4489 582 R 83 83,41 71 71 67 67 67
61 3721 620 T 67 SET 67 61 59 61 61
59 3481 SUM 600 41 47 53 53 59
53 2809 600 600 600 600 600
47 2209 X X X X
43 1849
41 1681 3ac (3) 632 1d(3) 186
5ac (2) 85 2d(x2) 1.2993E+133
7ac (3) 377 3d(x2) 1.797E+136
10ac(x2) 1.98E+132 4d(3) 253
11ac(3) 213 6d(8) 57610810
269 348 12ac(2) 56 8d(8) 70844282
421 184 13ac(3) 480 9d(8) 61519418
243 269 14ac(2) 52 11d(3) 202
492 131 16ac(2) 10 12d(4) 5041
304 17ac(3) 219 13d(2) 40
283 18ac(3) 404 15d(4) 2911
125 20ac(2) 79 19d(3) 414
404 21ac(2) 18 20d(x2) 7.97246E+75
128 22ac(3) 121 24d(3) 243
18max 548 23ac(2) 41 26d(3) 533
18min 248 24ac(3) 214 27d(2) 30
25ac(2) 61 26d(2) 20
27ac(3) 322
29ac(2) 83
30ac(3) 330

2013 tally:  35-7-6

Feel free to tell me I didn’t need to do the spreadsheeting (and then read how terrible I am at punching numbers into a calculator), and see you next week when Nudd takes behaviour… to the extreme!

Oh and if you’re still reading – you might want to check out the Christmas Turkey – a puzzle set by the collected bloggers and commenters at Times For The Times.  It’s guaranteed to make Duck mad!

Advertisements

4 Responses

  1. Absolution from numberhell is granted. Well done. I’m fair chuffed!!

  2. George, – Merry Xmas – it’s been very entertaining reading about your efforts. And we even let you have the Ashes back for a a while …….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: