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Archive for June, 2010

Pandigital Squares by Oyler

Posted by Listen With Others on 17 June 2010

Ten double sided cards each have a different single digit printed on each side. When the cards are arranged in a row a pandigital square, P, is formed. When the cards are turned over and kept in the same order the result is a different pandigital square Q. In the clues the subscripts refer to the cards in positions 1 to 10 respectively. For example if P was 6154873209 then P25 would be the four digit string 1548. In order for solvers to identify P and Q, the grid, which has 180° rotational symmetry, should be completed. In the grid no entry starts with zero and all are different. P and Q should be written underneath the grid.


Across Down
1 P13 + P89 1 P3 x P6
3 P10 x P10 = Q12 2 Q10 x Q34
5 Q47 3 Q8 x Q23
7 Q3 x Q4 x Q5 4 P6 (P7 + P8)
8 P4 (Q12 – P12 ) / Q9 6 P46 + Q46 + P34 + Q67
9 P36 7 P24 + Q68 – Q10
12 P2 x P7 8 Q10 x Q12
13 P79 10 Q4 x Q4 = Q34
11 P1 x P2 x P3 x P4

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Pandigital Squares by Oyler: Solution

Posted by Listen With Others on 16 June 2010

From the clue lengths and numbering we can deduce the grid to be as follows.


10d. Q4 is 5 or 6 so Q34 is 25 or 36. So 5a starts with a 5 or 6.

2d. Multiple of 25 or 36 with the multiple being 4, 5, 6 or 9. This yields

25 36
4 100 144
5 125 180
6 150 216
9 225 324

The only fit is with 150 so Q10 is 6 and Q34 is 25. Entering these in the grid gives up P4 as 2. So we have P as ???2?????? and Q as **25*****6.

8a. Q12 > P12. So Q1 is not 1.

3a. P10 is 4, 5, 6 or 9. But from 8a it is not 4 and from the fact that P4 is 2 it is not 5. So P10 is 6 or 9. If it is 6 then Q12 is 36 but Q10 is 6 so P10 is 9 and 3a is 81. Q1 is 8 and Q2 is 1. Using the 2 digit termini of square numbers tells us that P9 is even but not 2 which already appears in P. Also Q9 is odd and will be 3, 7 or 9.

8d. 6 x 81 = 486 so P6 is 8 and P8 is 6.

12a. P2 or P5 must be 5.

11d. 1 must be in P1 to P4 inclusive.

3d. This is a multiple of 12 so must be 84 and Q8 is 7.

5a. Q6 is 4.

7d. Starts with at least a 4 so 7a must be 90. Therefore Q5 is 9, Q9 is 3 and Q7 is 0. Thus Q is 8125940736 which is 901442.

5a is 5940.

6d ends in 4 so P5 is 4. Now P9 is 0.

13a is ?60.

11d. P2 must be 5.

4d is a multiple of 8 and is 104 so P7 is 7.

12a is 35.

13a is 760.

11d is 30.

1d is 24 so P3 is 3 and P1 is 1.

P is thus 1532487609 which is 391472.

The remaining entries are

7d is 933, 9a is 3248, 1a is 213 and 6d is 914 which check out.

The final grid is as follows:

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Double Shuffling and Dealing by Auctor

Posted by shirleycurran on 11 June 2010

The Numpty team gazed for a good hour at Auctor’s Double Shuffling and Dealing and got nowhere at all. Part of the trouble was that phrase in parenthesis ‘… the answer (which is also the grid entry) with one letter omitted’. The answer is usually the ‘grid entry’, so was this something special? Were we entering the answer with one letter omitted?

Our first red herring seemed to confirm this Numpty diversion. If we used CHARMING for ‘Fetching’, (Fetching up special seat ahead of new government) then the clue led to an anagram of CHAIR plus NG (CHARING) and we had the letter M in the margin. Great! Except that we couldn’t cope with that little word ‘up’ in the clue.

Fortunately, remembering what a bunch of oenophiles these setters are, we rethought and came up with SPEWING (much less fetching as a word) and SHERRY to go with it on the top line. And we were on our way.

Not being particularly competent with wordplay played into our hands with this crossword. It wasn’t long before we had a complete grid, often including the only word that the Chambers CD Rom produced to fill the light, even if we could see no link at all to the wordplay. We wondered about the proliferation of moles (and suspected that we were heading for a Hamlet quotation – ‘Canst work in the ground so fast, old mole?’) and muttered seditiously about the definitions appearing in the middle of clues, but we lacked the sophistication that would have led more competent solvers to grasp what was going on – until EMICATED appeared at 17dn and we suddenly twigged that we had seen its definition (sparkled) at 26dn.

Suddenly the TALPIDAE burrowed their way to the moles and we saw what was going on.

Meanwhile ‘I HAVE DECEIVED YOU BOTH, I HAVE DIRECTED YOU TO …’ emerged from our extra letters and Google gave us two more words: ‘WRONG PLACES’. We were told what we had just realized! The Host at the Garter was our guilty party and we were left with WGHEHMETVOOODSL to convert into four words. Easy! GODS and LOVE leapt out at us, leaving ‘WHOM THE’ – so ‘Whom the gods love’. We had already found MENANDER in the usual diagonal slot and Google confirmed the link.

All that was left to do was to sort out those extra words we had happily ignored and return them to their own wordplay.  Here is my ultimate solution with a couple of problems at 24 and 29 across that someone will perhaps explain to me?  I wonder, too, whether I have spotted the correct definition for EVOKE. ‘Cause’ seemed to be the only remaining wandering word.

Auctor certainly challenged us – thank you!

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Back Gate by Tiburon

Posted by linxit on 5 June 2010

gridWell, having been one of the first volunteers when Chris originally planned Listen With Others, I suppose I’d better finally produce my first blog entry. Unfortunately about the time LWO got started my job changed and I stopped being single, so my weekend time was much more restricted than before. And I’m quite lazy…

Anyway, back to Tiburon. I met him for the first time at the Magpie party a few weeks earlier, and he mentioned a Listener in the pipeline, so I thought I’d better have a crack at it at least. Misprints in every definition, with messages in the misprints and the corrected letters. Must have been difficult to write the clues!

I printed it out at work on the Friday and had my first look on the train without any solving aids. First read through the clues didn’t produce too much – RAG WEEK was the first one I got, followed by WET ROT (I often find multi-word answers easier to spot), then managed to complete most of the SE corner and put in a wrong answer at 17A. Next chance to look at it was Saturday morning, with Chambers, Bradfords, TEA and the Internet at my disposal. About three hours later I emerged victorious with a completed grid.

Strangely enough, up to that time I’d not bothered to even look at the two columns of letters I’d been neatly writing in next to each completed clue as I went along, so it came as quite a surprise when I instantly saw DEOX/YRIB/ONUC/LEIC/DCID (oops) in the misprints and its four component chemicals in the corrections. But where did that rogue D come from?

36D Following Peru’s appeal for help dash for Colombia (5)

“dash” becomes “cash” and it’s PE + SOS, surely! Took me another couple of minutes to see that it could also work with “dash” -> “dosh”.

DNA stands out in the middle, and I can see a double helix of names winding around it. I’d heard of WATSON and CRICK, but had to look up FRANKLIN and WILKINS on Wikipedia to confirm them. I also (rarely for me) saw the significance of the title, which gave me fond memories of Ploy’s Signal Boxes (Listener 4004).

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Back Gate by Tiburon

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 June 2010

This was the numpty team’s first Tiburon and we approached it with some trepidation. Rule number one; read the preamble carefully several times and highlight some instructions! What a good thing that we noticed that we were looking for misprints in certain clues and corrections in the remainder! That instruction was slightly daunting; how were we going to separate them?

Solving progress was very slow. A friend suggested that this puzzle would fit into the Magpie A or B category. I found the wordplay very challenging – clearly there’s a long uphill climb to the D/E level. However, almost every time that I solved a clue, I commented ‘That was brilliant!’ or ‘That was magic!’ or ‘What a splendid clue!’ Well, they were, weren’t they?

Take 22d. ‘Nit treatments limited to prime locations’ I wonder how long Tiburon pondered before he spotted the fact that RETE (net) occupied the ‘prime’ (i.e. 2,3,5 and 7) locations of ‘treatments’.

Misprints are so often fairly obvious but not so with 37ac.  ‘Ocarina formed of pipes etc.’ The surface reading is magic – an ocarina is formed of pipes isn’t it? The obvious misprint would have been ‘acarina’, so, for far too long, I tried to find some mites that would be anagrammed to ‘pipes etc.’ Oh no! AARONIC finally appeared and the new magic surface reading of ‘popes etc.’

Then there was the ARAL SEA. It took me a while to spot that ALS in AREA fulfilled the needs of the clue, ‘Lar(G)e lake once further in extent’. It took me even longer to recognise the sheer genius and relevance of the surface reading concerning this shrinking lake.

My favourite of all these fabulous clues has to be, ‘Exclude from li(S)t in newspaper limo having disembarked’. The thought of the SUN ROLLS is delightful. I have a vision of Murdoch swanning around in his Rolls – then we disembark him (remove the SS) and are left with UNROLL.

There was such pleasure in these wonderful clues that the team wasn’t particularly troubled by our slow rate. The four corners, one by one, slowly filled (that’s like saying soccer is a game of two halves, and we either win or we lose, isn’t it?) until we suddenly saw THYMINE in our corrected misprints. What a give-away! At once, the others resolved themselves into CYTOSINE, GUANINE and ADENINE and we were left with DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID. Of course, that resolved a few of our remaining problems with the clues. 19d. ‘Pool buddy in bright costume’. I had been struggling to spot the misprint, and having visions of some dazzling orange and turquoise Speedo-clad bronzed Adonis at the poolside – but no, it was not to be. The L in Pool was the misprint and, of course, Kanga was Pooh’s buddy.

SALVE had given me Ice in the place of Ace – most unsatisfactory! However, the C was now needed as the misprint in 5d. ‘Ace possibly, except straddling line’, and here was another brilliant clue with an Ave as a Salve!

Finding WILKINS, WATSON, CRICK and FRANKLIN spiralling their way down the grid in symmetrical curves and encapsulating the DNA theme was the final beautiful touch of this magic crossword. What a triumph for Tiburon!

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