If squares were cubes, primes were hooks and neither was either, this would be a Chore

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossnumber.   So far so good in the epic battle for perfection, but it could come unglued anytime soon, and this is the first numerical of the year… last year was not my best year on numbers.

This arrived on a very snowy morning.  I thought I was going to be shut in, but I was called in to work for an afternoon meeting.  My apartment is in a pretty shady cul-de-sac (how apropos), so there was no way I was getting the car out… bicycle was out of the question, so that left the bus.   This Listener (a first for me) was originally solved while waiting at the Asheville Bus Terminal. Probably the first time a Listener has been tried there.  And it’s Hedgehog – who gave me the empty-gridder Sad Hummer that features in the George vs Listener Hall of Fame/Shame.

OK, what have we here – S, P and N… interesting. So the first digit can be kind of hazarded at – S has to be 1, 4 or 9, P has to be 2, 3, 5, 7 and N has to be 6, 8, 0.  Similarly S’s have to end in 1, 4, 6, 9 or 0.  Actually, in the first go-around I had 1 in the P list as well, which messed me up a bit.

The crossing of the 14s seemed to be a good starting point – 169 and 361 appeared to be solutions, hey idiot – 169 doesn’t work, since 1 isn’t a prime when you’re thinking of prime factors.

Those of us who print the Listener on US letter size paper are at an advantage when it comes to crossnumbers… the Listener appears on two pages and the second page is nearly empty – perfect size for working through the possibilities of primes and squares.

my scribble grid for Listener 4281, Sporn by HedgehogNot a lot more to say – this was a fun little logic exercise, I was rather tickled that a part of the preamble that seems to always appear, but is rarely used came in to play – right at the end I was stuck with a choice of 4 or 9 for the first character of 10 across… but since 96 had been used, that “no entry is repeated” suddenly turns in to an actual part of the solving process.  I didn’t finish it at the bus stop, but home a few hours later, mid snow-melt, here’s what I had.

my working grid for Listener 4281, Sporn by Hedgehog

And when I could safely make it to the post office, it was away in the mail, and I believe we can call this a Victory to George, a sigh of relief that I’ve completed a Hedgehog Listener, and a start to the numerical part of the year.  And the all-correct may be intact!

2014 tally:  7-0-0

Feel free to chat about anything and everything in the comments, and see you next week when Mr Lemon coordinates us, sadly for the last time.



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