Listen With Others

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Roundabout Sums by Oyler

Posted by shirleycurran on 12 Mar 2021

It’s the dreaded numerical again – bound to lead to Numpty friction. We download a triangle with a hint of surprise and read through an intriguing pre-ramble where we are told that the 15 letters that appear in the clues represent the numbers 1 to 15. We jot those letters down and almost immediately see that they spell TRIANGLE and UYSMZJY which suggests to us TRIANGLE SUMZ JOY (despite the fact that we know Oyler, like one of the Numpties is a St Andrews’ alumnus and should have some inkling of how to spell ‘sums’). With I and A already in the grid, we tentatively write that around our grid and later have the joy of realizing that those pairs of digits in the perimeter are ‘triangle sumz’ – adding to triangular numbers. Nice one Oyler.

The other Numpty immediately works out that six perimeter cells will contain double digits. He spots that 14ac and 9d have to be the way into the puzzle but manages to eliminate the possibility of 731511 at 8d so is soon at his first dead-end when he opts for a solution that puts 10 at the end of that clue – where it can’t go, as it has to be the G of 2 Down Right. And so it goes, as usual with numericals until light finally dawns and peace is restored until mid May when  we’ll  get the next of these things.



Happily, I have a more rewarding task checking that Oyler retains his place at the bar and he leaves little doubt. He starts with GROG and with OIL ME two clues further down is already ‘well oiled’ before we get to his rather peculiar attempt at SANGRIA (GRANNSSANG – pretty well-oiled already but we know about his spelling!) Next he’s into the malts with TAY – we look it up and find there’s the Dalmore TAY DRAM but reading on we find he’s using a MUG and a JAR for those. It gets worse; he moves on to RUMS, before returning to the malts with ANNAN (Annandale, we suppose).

I dread to think whether the MARY in the penultimate clue is a Bloody one – it has to be! Cheers, Oyler and thanks for a numerical that wasn’t too awful.


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