Listen With Others

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Listener No 4621: True by Piccadilly

Posted by Dave Hennings on 11 September 2020

Piccadilly is primarily a mathematical setter these days, and his last Listener was three years ago with the superb Properties of Numbers — II. I’m not sure how setters go about clueing this sort of puzzle we had this week. Do they think of arbitrary words or phrases that just appeal to them or is there something more scientific? Whichever, RA – T + (E+N-T+E-R+S)A(BIN – N) was probably my favourite!

The straightforward way into this puzzle was through the last clue 29dn TA which could have few possibilities given that it was one of the three clues that we were told was palindromic in the preamble. T! in 14ac excluded 11², so 7³ it was with T = 7, A = 3. 21ac TA + RR + IE + R + S pretty much gave R = 5.

From there, the solution came fairly quickly with no more than a calculator required, although I’m sure some solvers would have created a spreadsheet with macros to solve it — just for fun. I’m not one of those. Once the grid was filled, converting the numbers to letters gave I hate numerical crosswords because making a mistake means starting all over again. Luckily, I wasn’t required to do any backtracking here, so breathed a sigh of relief.

However, I felt that this surely didn’t describe Piccadilly’s attitude to his artwork! I wondered whether there was an alternative, such as I love numerical crosswords despite making a mistake meaning a start all over again! Sadly no.

Very enjoyable, thanks Piccadilly.
 

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