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4049 The Domino Effect by Googly: Double trouble

Posted by shirleycurran on 18 September 2009

Six A4 sheets of calculation and 14 post-its, crammed with figures on both sides – and only half of the 8X8 team was in the running for this one (with the usual Domino Effectwise help). It took us three and a half days to get those cut out dominoes into place.

There were red herrings stacked up in smelly boxes. The first was a conviction that the dominoes were going to respect  clue division lines – but we are learning that it is silly to assume anything that isn’t said in a Listener crossword.

It was clear that our answers had to be the product of those letters and not just a concatenation of the numbers they represented. However, we were soon coming up against impossibilities. Trying to fit a domino into 2d led us into a set of dominoes with leading zeros down in the south-east corner.

EGG at 3ac produced a very large red herring. Towards Sunday midnight, Mr Math forgot that he was multiplying by the 2 of E that had already been established. The error went unnoticed until the very end when identical values emerged for one number. What a nightmare!

The struggle continued until, at last, we were able to address those numbers that appeared only once in the clues, X, I, Q and T. By now we were able to overlay dominoes to suggest the missing numbers and, at last, we were able to find a value for 9d and produce three numbers for the phrase at 8, 31, 18. It was fairly obvious that that had to be factorised and that something about dominoes would appear. Remembering the pentominoes, we looked for extra Cs (C = 1) and managed to find yet another red herring (ONCE at 18ac). I expected ‘All fall down’ or some such domino effect, or, at least ‘Paint all the doubles in zebra stripes’ but it was not to be. SHADE DOUBLE ONE emerged. So, I was given the opportunity to colour at least that little chap in the south-east corner.

Well, thank you Googly. What a challenge! I, for one, am glad there’s a three month gap before the next numerical one.

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5 Responses to “4049 The Domino Effect by Googly: Double trouble”

  1. Philip C said

    I’m now annoyed about this because I can now see ONE as the answer but you can also have OGEE (N=34, G=17, E=2) and an OGEE is an S shaped moulding so I shaded double 5 !! Aaaargh.

    Philip

  2. shirleycurran said

    So sad, Philip! That is just too clever for me (fortunately!) I think we are sometimes protected from that kind of problem because we simply don’t see the other possibility (though we did attempt to include a few Cs (=1) in our factorised instruction.

  3. Denis Martin said

    What a lovely patchwork quilt Shirley.

  4. erwinch said

    Yes, I thought so too, it has a pleasing haphazardness about it, although a pity that you spilt the red wine on it – or is that blood?

  5. shirleycurran said

    Blood, Erwinch – how did you guess 🙂 We enjoyed your far more competent method and neater presentation – though you came up against the same hitches as those we encountered.

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