Listen With Others

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Godly Mix-up by Stick Insect

Posted by shirleycurran on 11 July 2014

Stick Insect, stage 1 001I have been quietly deciding that it was time I stopped writing LWO blogs and even doing and sending Listener puzzles. After using my self-kicking foot over the TABU/TAPU error then committing an even worse one by not checking my TUCOTUCO/TUCUTUCO solution, I decided it was time to pass blogging into the capable numerical hands of our newest blogger; Jaguar. Then Holy Cow! One like this comes along, and my enthusiasm takes an upward leap.

Our enthusiasm after about two hours of solving easy clues was at an all time low ebb (so many generous anagrams – obviously the editors said ‘You have to keep the clues easy or the solvers will abandon in despair!’ – and we nearly did) we had an almost full grid, an almost complete message and no idea how to proceed. I had noticed with disappointment that Stick Insect’s clues contained lots of food: fish, old-time dish, rechewed food, chewed up duck, fruit, and cooked fig and date, but only ‘old drinking cups’ and not much evidence of membership of the tipsy Listener compilers’ club.

TEA came to our rescue, and when we keyed in the groups of letters that had been emerging (BRM, SGJ, FTY for example) we were able to complete the missing words and finally solve our last few clues and work out the digit value of C, Q and V. We had realized, early on, that GODLYMIXUP was going to code to 0123456789 (Well, we were more or less told that weren’t we?)

Establishing the value of the trailing Q,V and C meant that we could allocate a digit to every letter and, not realising where Converted to digits 001this was heading, I amused myself by performing that task with colour coding, to see whether some sort of penny-drop moment emerged. Well, it didn’t, but I got a fairly pretty grid, (not being a mathematical genius, the obvious didn’t strike me at this stage – I wonder how many people in the avid solvers know their Pi digits well enough to have seen where this was taking them!)June2014 080

However, we had teased out a very useful message from the extra letters in the clues. DIGITS KEY A LETTER FROM EACH CLUE: FOR NEXT STEP READ ZERO AS TEN.

Stick Insect Pi 001It was midnight by now and the mind was slowing, so I spent some fruitless time attempting to take letter 6 from clue 1, letter 6 from clue 2 and so on – which gave me gobbledygook. Numpty floundering often produces this from Listener solves.

Then it all suddenly made sense when I applied the first digit in the grid to the first clue and so on and teased out yet another message: IN ROWS ONE AND TEN, RECODE SEVENTEEN CELLS AS LETTER FROM GROUP.

With only seventeen out of twenty letters from groups to use (or so it seemed) TEA was not going to help us with this task. However, we could see PLACES at the end of the message and POINT at the end of the first row and, with amazement, understood where this was leading us:

Pi is 3 point 14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620900 to 80 places.

Yes, I got out my ‘Easy Sums for Numpties’ and checked that my grid was correct. This was absolutely astounding, Stick Insect!

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