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L4660: ‘Prime Cuts’ by Zag

Posted by Encota on 11 Jun 2021

Thanks Zag for a top-quality numerical puzzle.

There were several features that I liked: 

  • the fact that all 21 two-digit primes made an appearance was neat;
  • that lack of uniqueness in the answers still led to uniqueness in the entries / final grid (I have 16d’s (19)95 / 95(19) in mind here;
  • how the ascending/descending digit clues gave significant information about the entries, as well as helping narrowing down the removed primes themselves.  8d was a perfect example of this, where deriving its removed prime from elsewhere as 61 immediately fixed its entry at 987 – I loved it!

I have a strong suspicion that there’ll be a neater solution path than the one I took though, having said that, I wasn’t having to tabulate huge quantities of options along my route, which was good.  I did resort to Excel to keep track of my workings, which felt a very reasonable thing to do.

As is often the case with me and numericals, I did go down one wrong path, putting the wrong reversed entry in at 9ac.  Its implications soon reduced this to absurdity, so I quickly deleted 81 as 9ac’s entry and replaced it with 62 – and all worked out fine!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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