Listen With Others

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Rejob by Botox

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 Mar 2018

It’s the dreaded numerical again and my fears are confirmed when I download not one but two grids. That X at the end of the pseudonym causes only foreboding too. We’ve encountered Botox in a Magpie C level puzzle that depicted a Picasso painting in the final grid and are aware that Artix, Nudnix, Charismatix etc. all have that hint of the setter’s identity in the final X (even if Charismatix produces rather groan-worthy but very popular Christmas cracker jokes – his/their puzzles are never easy). Of course I scan the clues before handing over to the more numerical Numpty and they produce a wide smile when I see that we go from ALPHA to ZULU, via BRAVO, CHARLIE etc. and, of course WHISKEY, so no need to search any further for confirmation of Botox’s right to prop up the bar at the Paris dinner.

I hand over and sheets of paper and pencil sharpenings pile up, as he immediately homes in on clues 11ac and 21d as the way in but, after filling a couple of pages, decides that he has to produce a programme which tells him that D = 6, E = 2, L = 9 and T = 12 and that that is unique. He moves from there to O but I can count on the other bloggers to give the details of the heap of paper, drained glasses and snapped pencils that led to a completed grid of numbers.

Now what? We have to produce Grid B by copying the digits in 32 cells from Grid A and decoding the rest to letters (using a systematic cipher where each digit represents any of two or three letters). Which 32 cells? Head scratching, then a joyous penny-drop moment when we see 4321 in descending order four times in the heart of the grid, accompanied by 1111, 2222, 3334, and 4445. Hotel rooms with no 13, of course, omitted. I draw a symmetric arrangement of bars around those rooms and, eureka, I am left with 34 cells to somehow convert to letters. It has to be simple – only the numbers 0 to 9 (with no 7) are available to convert to letters so each number is going to represent any of two or three letters.

“It’s obvious” says the other Numpty. “A =1, B = 2 etc, in the usual way then after 9 we have to use J = 0 and begin again. Repeat the cycle twice then U = 1 etc. to Z = 6.” Of course it works. but now the inevitable Numpty red herring! The bottom row gives SHOW OPTIONS and, sure enough, I find STAIR at each end and LIFT in the centre, all leading up to a PENTHOUSE. Well, we have the option of a stair or the lift. But wait a minute, that’s six words: head scratching until I realize that 90189 at the two sides of the HOTEL gives two sets of STAIRS, with the alternative of a LIFT up the centre leading to the PENTHOUSE from RECEPTION. Five words!

What about REJOB? Are they renovating the hotel? It gives 85052 which, of course, can also spell HOTEL using the same cipher. How very clever! Thank you, Botox!


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