Listen With Others

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L4686: ‘Dice Nets’ by Arden

Posted by Encota on 10 Dec 2021

Another beautifully constructed puzzle by Arden – delightful!

I do like it when a clue gives far more information than it appears to at first sight. Here’s one example: 11d’s “Twice a square”. Those familiar with number puzzles will be very used to pencilling in the unit digit of any square as one of 0,1,4,9,6 or 5. However, it was new to me that doubling all these gives the reduced set of possibilities of the unit’s digit being 0, 2 or 8. Combining that with the constraint in this puzzle that only digits 1 to 6 appear – and that final digit can be written in immediately as a 2. Only 79 cells left to be filled!

As a complete aside, seeing a mention of ‘nets’ brought back good memories of working closely with the setter Ploy, under the pseudonym EP. As some readers will know, we’ve created thematic puzzles for the excellent Magpie magazine. In these, so far at least, the grids were nets of some form of 3-D shape that could then be folded, built and then ‘flexed’ in different ways to display various thematic references, our last one being entitled (perhaps unsurprisingly) Paper Folding. In today’s puzzle from Arden the challenge was to find as many nets of a ‘standard die’ as one can. “Left-handed or right-handed?” I can hear some of you asking!

Unfortunately this week I seem to have forgotten to scan my entry before posting it off to John Green – it’s all been a bit of a rush recently – apologies for that.

At first I tried to work out what all the nets could be. I recalled that there were about ten of them. I found ten, then realised that I had missed one, the pure zigzag. All eleven appeared in Arden’s grid (with puzzles of this quality we would, of course, expect nothing less!) and the remaining unused 14 cells were arranged symmetrically, which added to the puzzle’s all-round neatness. Loved it – thanks Arden!!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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