The properties of dumbers too!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossnumber, the quarterly report on things logical and numerical.

Apologies (particularly to setters) for the last few weeks of being whisper quiet. A big crash of busy stuff, an illness, and a very exciting writing project have taken up a lot of the time that I would usually spend solving and making terrible jokes about puzzles. And I know I should go back and write about the last few puzzles and my various ups and downs on them, but as you can see from the grids I’ve pasted – I actually solved them.

You don’t come to George vs the Listener for smugness and ability to solve at the drop of a hat.  There’s another blog chock full of that.  You come to George v Listener to hear of failure and misery.

Enter Piccadilly.  A setter of both letter and number puzzles, though I have only done one of the letter puzzles before.  This did look rather fun and definitely inventive – look what we have, a symmetrical grid, no two lights have the same starting square, and all of the instructions are statements about numbers that are also statements about their grid entries.

There is also a clear starting point – 1 has to be a cube and a square which means it is a power of six.  That limits it to 15625 or 46656, so 3 starts with a 6 and is a prime.  I marked the end of the prime answers with an x, knowing there had to be an odd digit in those positions, and then fiddled with the possibilities for 14 that narrowed it down to 118.  Working from there to get 2, 3 (and hence 6) was looking good, that set 12 and then 24 has to be 12+12 and oh shit there’s an even digit in a square marked with x.

My working grid for Listener 4464, The Properties of Numbers III by Piccadilly

I tried backtracking and got nowhere.  I don’t think there’s another starting point, surely.

The solution is out now and it seems I had overlooked another contender for 4 down (damn you online lists of squares!).

This was an impressive piece of setting by Piccadilly, and I am a little embarrassed to not be up to the task, but this is a massive victory to the Listener Crossword!

Game over, 4% completion.

Feel free to give me maths lecture after maths lecture, and see you next week when Yorick runs letters by us.

 

 

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CASE-SENSITIVE

WELCOME BACK TO GEORGE VS THE LISTENER, YOUR WEEKLY DESTINATION FOR ALL THINGS LISTENERYSOLVEY.  THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY PICCADILLY, WHO TO ME IS A NEW SETTER, BUT ACCORDING TO THE LISTENER WEBSITE, IS MAKING A TRIUMPHANT RETURN AFTER AN 11-YEAR ABSENCE, SO HI PICCADILLY IF YOU ARE LOOKING IN!

WHAT HAVE WE HERE?  NINE CLUES WITH EXTRA LETTERS IN WORDPLAY, AND THE ANSWERS ARE REPLACED, WHATEVER THAT MEANS, THEN THERE’S SOME INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GRID.  IT APPEARS OUR LUCK FROM LAST WEEK IS SPILLING OVER, THE GRID PRESUMABLY (AT LEAST INITIALLY) CONTAINS ALL REAL WORDS.

NOT ONLY THAT BUT THERE IS A 1 ACROSS – AND IT IS A SWITCH OF I FOR T IN CAPTAIN TO GET CAPSTAN AND WE ARE AWAY!

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER CAME ONE OF THE EXTRA LETTERS IN WORDPLAY ENTRIES – 3 DOWN WAS CLEARLY AO DAI WITH AN EXTRA E, AND THE POSITION WHERE IT WENT HAD FIVE CHARACTERS BUT WITH THE FIRST ONE BEING AN S WE CLEARLY WERE NOT IN JUMBLY TERRITORY.  SOON AFTER CAME ANOTHER – WITH UM-A-T IN PLACE, IT REALLY LOOKED LIKE 17 ACROSS WAS GOING TO BE UMLAUT, WHICH CERTAINLY DIDN’T FIT THE DEFINITION OR WORDPLAY IN THE CLUE (NEITHER OF WHICH I HAD SOLVED AT THE TIME).

THE PENNY DROPPED ON SOLVING 10 DOWN AS LAVALLIERES – THE LETTERS I HAD IN THE GRID REALLY SEEMED TO BE POINTING AT GRAVE ACCENT – JUST AS 12 DOWN LOOKED LIKE ACUTE ACCENT, AND THERE INDEED IS AN ACCENT GRAVE IN LAVALLIERES.  AAAAH – AO DAI HAS A SPACE IN IT.  LOOKS LIKE THE EXTRA WORDPLAY LETTER ANSWERS ARE GOING TO BE SOME FORM OF CHARACTER THAT IS USUALLY OVERLOOKED WHEN ENTERING AN ANSWER INTO A GRID (UNLESS THE GRID IS ABOUT GERMAN KNIGHTS).

FROM THERE IT WAS AN INTERESTING SOLVING SPREE – ALTERNATING BETWEEN SEEING A WORD WITH AN ACCENT OR ANOTHER CHARACTER IN IT (LIKE UKIYO-E) AND SLOTTING IT INTO THE GRID, OR SEEING A GRID ENTRY THAT COULD BE AN ACCENT – LIKE THE AFOREMENTIONED UMLAUT WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE GRAFIN, AND RUM WITH A CEDILLA HAS TO BE CACHACA, WHICH I DEVELOPED A TASTE FOR IN BRAZIL A FEW YEARS AGO.  MMMMMM

AND THEN THE HEART-DROPPING MOMENT, WITH ONLY TWO OF THOSE CLUES LEFT TO SOLVE, THE EXTRA LETTERS READ ERSOCAL, WHICH IS AN W AND AN E AWAY FROM LOWERCASE, WHERE ALL THOSE ACCENTS WOULD DEFINITELY BE SEEN.

I DEFY YOU PICCADILLY – I’M NOT GOING TO REWRITE THAT GRID IN LOWER CASE.  IN FACT I’M GOING TO KEEP IT IN UPPER CASE AND WRITE THIS IN UPPER CASE SO THERE!

YEP – WITH GRAFIN AND SENOR SORTED OUT IT IS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE LOWERCASE… AND I HAVE A GRID!

My working grid for Listener 4372, Seldom Seen by Piccadilly

THIS WAS A PRETTY SLICK SOLVE, I WAS DEFINITELY ON PICCADILLY’S WAVELENGTH WITH THE CLUES AND THE WHOLE PUZZLE WAS COMPLETED IN A LITTLE UNDER AN HOUR.  IT WAS FUN – VERY NEAT WORK IN FINDING ANSWERS WITH THE SAME NUMBER OF LETTERS AS THE FEATURE THAT BECAME THE GRID ENTRY.  AND I THINK WE CAN CALL IT A VICTORY TO GEORGE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ THESE CAPITALS FOR MUCH LONGER.  WOOOHOOO

2015 TALLY – 37-2-5

FEEL FREE TO TELL ME THAT YOUR HEAD IS HURTING JUST FROM READING THIS AND SEE YOU NEXT WEEK WHEN KEA GIVES US A NUMERICAL PUZZLE THAT IS APPARENTLY HALF A RP