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Posts Tagged ‘Pentominoes’

Listener 4699, Pentominoes by Child’s Play

Posted by vaganslistener on 11 Mar 2022

Well, here’s a Numerical Novice’s attempt at PENTOMINOES, which was no Child’s Play for me, though easier to get into than some, and with an element of fun too. I hope the setter will offer us more games soon!

My initial hope was (a) that the tiling would have a unique solution, and (b) that it would be on the web. I did find a neat little wesbite that let me type in the grid complete with holes, but when it reached 100 solutions and still counting I realised that it was a dead end, and got the pencil and rubber out instead.

My way in was through 7a which soon showed that it had a unique solution, locking in two letters, and generating 6561 that I realised – having looked at all those pentominoes flashing before my eyes – had to have its 6’s covered by the U-shape. I then made a table of all the 3-digit products of the relevant primes (thank you Excel) and with the help of that was able to narrow in on 3, 4 and 5d, took a punt that 662 and 668 would be the values for 3 and 4d as they would fit the pentomino pattern. One of the likely primes was 61, and I started to pencil in the U shape of 6s, closely followed by the 1s and 5s and so on.

I did grind away at the spreadsheet to pick out some other clue answers, but frankly my skill-set made it much easier to deduce the pentomino pattern and reverse engineer the calculations. As some of them could apply to more than one answer – and as there was no way I was going to work out a Single Logical Path – there was en element of guesswork and special pleading here, and at the end I was still left with one that I couldn’t explain even though I was sure the solution was right.

These are never going to be my cup of tea – there is usually too much detailed calculation and recording and not enough intuition involved for me – but the bricks won the day, and many thanks to Child’s Play for getting them out of the box.

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Pentominoes by Child’s Play

Posted by shirleycurran on 11 Mar 2022

What can I say? These three-monthly sorties into numbers are anathema to me and even the more numerical Numpty moaned when he saw just 14 clues and a carte blanche with only bars to help, maybe, and a few blocks. I crept out of the way of bad language and potential missiles and only returned when there was a rather surprised “Well C and H must be 3 and 2 and that must be 6561, and there is only one place that is likely to go … Two solutions, then, will begin with 66 and those are likely to be 3d and 4d …”

And on it went – but the other bloggers will certainly fill in the details – all I got to do was make a pretty, coloured grid – and, of course, hunt for the alcohol as I do believe this is Child’s Play’s very first Listener crossword (though we have met him several times in the Magpie). Can we admit him to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite? Things looked somewhat gloomy. I hunted for Vat 69 – anything at all but, in the end, had to give him the benefit of the doubt because of all those primes – well ‘primeurs’ are wines where we live.

Cheers, Child’s Play.

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