For those of who who dislike numerical puzzles, have adouble!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossnumber, your quarterly dissection of the more logic-based numerical puzzles.

I think the difficulty in numerical puzzles has really been ramped up over the last few years, and in particular I have had a difficult time with Elap.  Now we have a sequence I have heard of – the Collatz conjecture.  Long preamble for a numerical – it’s a jigsaw, there’s only two 4-digit entries, and capital and lowercase numbers are hailstones of each other.

There was a clear starting point here – N to the power of 4 is a 2-digit number, so N has to be 2 or 3 – if it is indeed 2, then the first few 2-digit answers have to be smaller than 16, so 4 of the numbers from 10-15 are represented.

I’ll save you the details, but I did my usual job with the logic puzzles which is to make a complete bosh of it, and after about half an hour I had a few impassable points.

My first grid for Listener 4386, Hailstorm by Elap

Time to start again… I figured I’d gone wrong by assuming 95 and 96 for 29 and 27 down.  So back to careful calculation and, I’ll admit, Excel to make sure I was doing the maths correctly.  This worked – I had a grid!

Complete grid for Listener 4368, Hailstorm by Elap

Now to decode – I don’t think it has anything to do with the letters used in the clues, since there’s no E. It says in a thematic direction, which may mean top to bottom… PRODUCE makes it look promising.


Aaaah, they are actual numbers – produce 38 hailstone numbers from 988 and fill grid.  Really?  Wow.

list of hailstone numbers

After a near false start from (which made too many 4-digit hailstone numbers) we have a list, and in they go as a jigsaw.

The final grid!

Wow that was an impressive crossword and grid!  I really enjoyed the challenge and it was quite a piece of construction, I’m amazed at how Elap could have come up with this, and I believe we can call it a Victory to George!

2016 tally:  7-1-0

Feel free to tell me that I should put far fewer grids in the post, and see you next week when Emu invents a band that can cover one man.


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