Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Dice Nets by Arden

Posted by shirleycurran on 10 Dec 2021

Arden is familiar to us in the Magpie numericals (especially those where we have monks manipulating obscure harvests) and I see that he has produced a number of numerical Listeners – for us, those dreaded tri-monthly events. I tend to hand over to the other Numpty who grumbles each time a careless error sends him back to his pencil and paper calculations – and the paper piles up.

We do wonder how anyone manages these things without a computer. This time he created a couple of mini programmes to work out what the triangular number and square were that had to be additions of 16 to 27 and 31 across.

Yes, there were errors and back-tracking and he was happily in bed and dreaming, with relief, of the next verbal crossword by midnight, leaving me with a full grid and what looked like an entertaining endgame. Of course, the Internet gave me the eleven potential six-shell shapes that could be folded to make a standard cubic die – and my first muddle failed. It was difficult confirming those shapes that were rotated and making sure they appeared only once – until I hit on the fact that there were only 11 2s in the grid and 11 4s, so that if, as I surmised, all 11 shapes were to appear in the 80 cells, all those 2s and 4s must be included. Then it was plain-sailing and quite a pretty grid emerged. What a feat, Arden, to fit them all in, with the helpful bars.

“Bars”! I was just about to say that Arden hadn’t earned his place at the bar at the Setters Dinner in Stirling but it looks as though he has.

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