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Posts Tagged ‘Oyler’

Listener No 4647: Roundabout Sums by Oyler

Posted by Dave Hennings on 12 Mar 2021

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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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L4647 ‘Roundabout Sums’ by Oyler

Posted by Encota on 12 Mar 2021

We always expect something interesting when Oyler’s name is attached to a numerical – and this was no exception! My thanks to Oyler for what I managed to make a trickier puzzle than it probably needed!

I read the Preamble – the bit about ‘Some perimeter cells will contain two digits’.  I then – stupidly with hindsight – asked myself whether this told me that all other cells in the puzzle contain exactly one digit?  Unfortunately for me, I decided that it didn’t tell me that.  The ‘literal’ bit told me that the numbers 1 through 15 were most likely to appear in the fifteen edge cells – but what about the central ones?

Luckily some clues helped me out a bit – eg 7dr had to be two digits long and so have one in each cell.  Similarly 9dl had to have four digits, one per cell.  Bit by bit I crept around the grid, identifying cells which had to have just one digit in them and eventually I cracked it.  Of course, once I saw there was no possibility or need for any of the central cells to contain more than one digit then I knew that the simpler reading of the Preamble would have sufficed!

That made it a very enjoyable solve, even though I appear to have added an entirely unrequired additional layer of complexity.  Or maybe that was intended?  My guess is No!

With the help of OEIS (sequence A020756, I think) I managed to confirm that all pairs of joined number-strings round the perimeter were triangular, which seemed quite impressive, given it all linked up back round to the start.  My instinct is that such a sequence must be fairly uncommon, though I didn’t explore this further.

That left TRIANGLE SUMZ JOY around the edge, when taken ‘literally’, which was reassuring that I must have (at least) most of the puzzle correct.

Oyler has also hinted, with a Title including “Roundabout” and 8ac beginning “Yes” to a Prog Rock under-theme that elsewhere we’d perhaps be more likely to see from the setter Moog! I did wonder, for a moment, if that much later album from Yes entitled ‘90125’ was also going to feature. Apparently No – unless I’ve made a mistake (quite possible!)

Thanks again Oyler!!

Cheers & stay safe all,

Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4529: St Hubert’s College by Oyler

Posted by Dave Hennings on 7 Dec 2018

It had been nearly two years since Oyler’s last Listener, Can’t You Do Division? similar to an old Rhombus puzzle from the 60’s. I couldn’t recall an earlier Listener with this sort of theme, although there was an EV puzzle, also by Oyler, t20 based on a cricket match. (Sadly, I failed on that one, but luckily it wasn’t my blogging week.)

Here, bizarrely, we had a bit of time travel at St Hubert’s with a Master creating a way of remembering the security code for his wife’s bank account. Now this obviously put the date he wrote it sometime post-PIN days, which I would guess is in the mid 1960’s. With the added knowledge that the college had a time travel department, all sorts of things could be going on.

Anyway, as is usual with a mathematical puzzle, I had to start again when I had options for 15dn, the number of years since the college was founded, a square and multiple of 1ac. With the clue for 1ac The number of college graduates nominated for Nobel prizes in the 20th century, a factor of 14dn, I assumed that the Master was creating the code post-20c. but the only one that seemed to fit was 1995.

Of course, with the time-travelly bit, anything could be going on, and I eventually assumed that someone had sent Whitaker’s Almanac, or some such, back from the 21st century. A bit of a red herring with the time travel, I thought.

Still, it’s always nice to have a different mathematical and my reworking didn’t take too long. As expected a fun puzzle and not too tricky, so thanks, Oyler.

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St Hubert’s College by Oyler

Posted by shirleycurran on 7 Dec 2018

I dread those three-monthly numerical crosswords and downloaded this one by the king of the numerical crossword world with immense trepidation, then saw all those perfectly normal clues and heaved a sigh of relief. Years ago, one of the Listener editors told me that solvers are not very fond of this combination of text and numerical crosswords. I have no quarrel with it and there was a fine description of a truly scumbag college to delight us together with all those figures to work out. Yes, it took us until after midnight as I (using the Internet) landed on a list of five-digit primes that didn’t include the one we needed, and we left it rather late in our solve to calculate the three potential ‘bank security codes’ at 14d, one of which would confirm that the master’s wife didn’t produce 19 children, that the college had 19 Nobel nominees in its ranks and 37 post-grads.

Of course, it was Pheidippides, the speedy snail, who produced the whoop of joy at about midnight, when all our speculation and calculation was confirmed and I have no issue with him, but must severely castigate Oyler for publicising such a disgraceful seat of drunkenness and debauchery. Yes, of course I checked the alcohol content of the clues and was appalled when we learned that 699 bottles – almost certainly of the finest quality – shall we guess about 50 pounds a bottle? – were consumed at a single dinner. That’s 35,000 pounds. Nearly three times the Master’s annual entertainment allowance. No wonder his bursar spent over two and a half years in prison for tax evasion. They were probably in drunken cahoots (but cheers, anyway, Oyler!) Somebody has to fund all that boozing and we guessed they must be charging hefty fees from all those overseas students (yes, we did wonder for a while, whether they comprised part of the undergraduate/graduate body or had to be counted separately).

Fibonacci, the cat, seems to be the most effective of the whole bunch of them, but 55 mice! (Some were probably rats). With 54 non-academic staff, and probably even more academic staff, the staff-student ratio of this vermin-ridden place is totally skewed and the domestic staff, who should be shifting the snails, mice etc. are probably slewed with all that wine – certainly not doing their job – but spending their day with stopwatches timing snails round the quad. I ask you!

Or is that how the Master spends his day? The other Numpty declared that he should be fired for gross moral turpitude. 39 years old and he had already fathered two or three bastard offspring before baby-snatching a wife twenty years his junior, a kind of Lolita, just about as randy as he is with her own sprog or sprogs in tow. And what do they do? Produce ten more ‘in or out of wedlock’ (seducing pretty students?)

The whole set up is shady. With all those ‘graduates’ from a body of merely 349 students, something is fishy. There must have been about 140 graduates a year over the 361 years of the college’s existence so something is going on. Are they in the business of awarding shady postal doctorates for a fee? Shame, Oyler! It won’t do.


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