Puzzles and Pictures

A Boxing Day post composed of pictures and puzzles – enjoy!


I have five puzzles to share (all via the mathematical website Brilliant – I am approaching a double century, my current solving streak now extending to 199 days) and photos that I have categorized in four groups. Therefore I will be interleaving puzzles and pictures.


This is an easy one – Lestrade would probably solve it without amateur assistance!



In preparation for the Christmas Day festivities I went for a walk yesterday morning, and many of the photos you will see were taken during that walk – others were taken at other times of the day. I first came across these birds when they were in a group near Kettlewell Laneand since then I have seen a single specimen, in The Walks, on three separate occasions, most recently yesterday:

Mallard drake and Muscovy duckCairina moschataCm2Mjuscovy Duck and two mallard drakesCm3Cm and mallard drakesCm and mallard drakes 2Cm and mallard drakeCm and mallard drakes 3


This one should not be too difficult either:

area test


When everything is closed the opportunity is there to get unimpeded pictures of buildings that are usually busy.

Town Hall and Old Gaol HouseSt NicksLibraryLibrary frontGreyfriars tower


This is one is tricky rather than difficult per se – and only 37% of solvers on Brilliant managed to crack it:

Odd and Even


Recent renovations in the building that my aunt’s house is part of have revealed some very interesting little details, and I also got some interesting shots from the house of the person with whom we had Christmas lunch.

The first 13 pictures are from Hampton Court (no superstitions and no truck with triskaidekaphobia here!)


beams 1
Two shots of the wooden beams at the house where we had Christmas lunch

Beams 2

An artwork display at that same house that caught my eye…
train pic
…one picture in particular!


Not at all difficult, but very enjoyable to tackle:



We finish our photographs as we started, with a nod to nature:

MoorhenGull on crossMagpie 1Magpie 2Magpie 3Squirrel and birdSquirrel and bird 2Gathering of gullsFlying gullsFlying gulls 2GullsGulls and squirrelGullSquirrel 1Squirrel 2Squirrel 3blackbirdsblackbirds 3Blackbird


We end with a fairly tough problem to which I have added an even tougher subsidiary question.


My follow up, adapted from a question raised by someone named Anne on Brilliant is this: What is the minimum initial deposit required to ensure that Fred’s money grows at a sufficient rate for him to become a trillionaire if he lives for as long as Earth remains an inhabitable planet (the increasing size and temperature of the sun will cause this in 1 billion years, assuming that some stupid species has not already done so,

A Thriller To Start The Women’s Ashes

An account of the opening salvos in the Women’s Ashes and some photographs.


Unlike the original Ashes, which have been fought for since 1882, the Women’s Ashes is contested across multiple formats. The current scoring system awards two points for a win in a limited overs match, 1 for a no-result and 0 for a defeat, while the sole test match is worth four points. 

A Classic Match

The first of three ODIs that the women will be contesting took place at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Australia won the toss and put England in to bat. Several England players got starts but none managed to build a really substantial score, Lauren Winfield leading the way with 48. A total of 228 off 50 overs did not look like it was good enough, and in the end it wasn’t.

Eng;land bowled better than they had batted, and at 87-4 Australia were looking distinctly shaky. Alex Hartley failed to hold a return catch offered by veteran Alex Blackwell when the latter had 35 to her name, and Australia were behind the rate, Talia McGrath having occupied 26 balls for a score of 7. This missed chance and some aggression from Ash Gardner (27 off 18) made the difference, Australia getting home in the final over with Blackwell unbeaten on 67. 

A highlight of this match was the preponderance of quality spin bowling on show – in Gardner, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Jess Jonassen Australia had three high-class practitioners, while Hartley and the experienced Laura Marsh both bowled well for England.

More details and official reports here.


This applies across the board, and not just to cricket between England and Australia, but this seems a suitable place to mention this. I see the distinction between these categories as that between a restricted (“Women’s”) and an open category – if a woman is able to play alongside the men she should have the right to do so – the existence of Women only teams is an acknowledgement that few women could because the men are generally larger and stronger. Similarly if a disabled athlete happens to be performing comparably to their able-bodied counterparts they should be able to compete alongside them. 

In terms of cricket I would expect that a woman who earned selection for ‘The Ashes’ as opposed ‘The Women’s Ashes’ would not be a specialist fast-bowler, but I could see spinners, wicket-keepers or batters earning selection.


Here are some recent photographs…

FWContrasting ducksFarming implementMaids HeadMoorhens, Bawsey DrainMoorhen, Bawsey DrainGulls, Bawsey DrainMoorhen, The WalksSouth GateSouth Gate 2Swan, the NarSwans, The NarSwans, The Nar IIFlying birdsFlying birds IIShip and craneHH an RSCustom House

New flats
A new building among the old.

Thoresby CollegeMinsterTHTH2

Links, Pics and Puzzles

Lionks to various pieces I have found on the internet, an answer and solution to one problem and a new problem, and some photographs.


This is a sharing post with some of my own stuff as well. I hope you enjoy it.


Play between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval has been halted and the ground has been locked down because a crossbow bolt was fired from outside the ground into the ground. Everyone at the ground is now in sheltered areas not out in the open. Armed police are now present at the ground. The match has now been officially abandoned, and a controlled evacuation of the ground is now underway.


First a trio from wildlifeplanet:

  1. “Unreal Photos Of Animals From The Scandinavian Vicious Forest” – a piece highlighting the work of Finnish photographer Konsta Punka taking pictures of forest creatures:

  2. “Beach That Disappeared 33 Years Ago Has Reappeared” 

  3. “Here Is The Bird That Is Able To Fly For 10 Months Non-Stop (Video)” – a piece about the swift.

Hurricane Harvey has quite rightly received a lot of coverage. Here are three of the better pieces:


This bus stop is the subject of a post on illaboratoriodipleeny titled “Una meravigliosa fermata del bus….” that was brought to my attention by Anna, who was as impressed by it as I am. Here is the bus stop:


I start with a tool created by the Labour Party called the living wage calculator. You enter your postcode and it tells you how many people in your area would benefit from the minimum wage being increased to £10 per hour. Below is what is says about my postcode:LW

My next two pieces both come from the Skwawkbox:


In one of my posts on Monday I set a problem from brilliant. Here is I show the answer and an impressive solution. I also offer a new problem to end the section.

Thomas’ answer:

Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 5.51.15 PM

I admit to being lazy on this one – knowing that the internal angles of an octagon add up to 1080 degrees and that 7 x 90 = 630 I realised that with seven acute angles the remaining angle would have to be over 450 degrees, and the max is just under 360 degrees which takes you back to where you started. However 6 x 90 = 540 which means that the remaining two angles would have to add up to something in excess of 540 degrees, which is no great difficulty. Therefore I gave the correct answer of six (in less time than it has taken me to type this). However, one solver by the name of Atomsky Jahid produced a splendid effort:

Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 5.52.52 PM


The mass extinction at the end of the Permian era is at the time of writing officially the largest in Earth’s history. An estimated 96% of all species on Earth at that time were rendered extinct. If the death rate in species that were not completely wiped out had been the same as the extinction rate what proportion of living creatures would have been wiped out in this event?


With Heritage Open Day coming up soon I decided to revisit these first two pics which feature thw town hall.


Greyfriars + wm
Greyfriars tower and the war memorial
The library, taken today


A hald-moon in an early evening sky.
The first of three closer up and enhanced shots of the half-moon.

P1040563P1040562Moorhen£2 - end of WWII

Cricket, Music and Local Elections

Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.


An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well. 


The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…


Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling. 


The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…


A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…

Kirsten, one of the two people from Musical Keys who run these sessions, at a very impressive looking keyboard.


I shall be adding some mathematics to the mix in two weeks time.


Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subject I said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough council website turned up the following information about who was standing:


In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.

Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland. 


In Llanbadarn Fawr ward, Powys, the Labour Party candidate is none other than Mike Sivier of Vox Political, a fact which he announced in a post titled “Vote for Mike in the local elections!

– Vox Political’s Mike Sivier is standing as a Labour Party candidate for Powys County Council’s Llanbadarn Fawr ward – and there’s more to him than a nice smile [Image: Mike Sivier].

Today, Mike has put up another post about his candidacy under the title “Shadow cabinet minister is right – local elections are about CANDIDATES, not Corbyn“.


The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message

Towards Indyref2…


I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…

15thCGHBb1BlackbirdcloseupBlackbird and flowerDSCN6005Mh1MinsterHB


During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled. 

The West Norfolk Disability Forum

A brief account of a meeting of the West Norfolk Disability Forum and notice of a visit to Sweden.


Most of this post is devoted to events that took place on Wednesday, but at the end of it I will have a small section looking ahead.


My invite to this event came from NAS West Norfolk Chair Karan, who was invited by councillor Squire. The meeting was to start at 2:30PM, but before then we were assembling at 1:00PM for a tour of Stories of Lynn in order to see what was right and what was wrong about it.


I enjoyed seeing what this establishment had to offer, though I would have been under-impressed had I had to fork out the £5 admission fee because there si simply no way that what they have is worth that price. The main issues noted were that there is not enough seating in the building and that there is a lack of audio options for those who cannot read. Here are some of the pictures that I took at this stage of proceedings…


The four big portraits tell you about themselves (all were born and raised in West Norfolk)


The Pillory was abandoned as a method of punishment in this country about 200 years ago. A radical publisher named Daniel Isaac Eaton was one of the last to be subjected to this form of punishment – the populace delivered their own verdict by providing him with food and wine, and generally turning his spell in the pillory into something of a public triumph.


Now that’s what I call a board game!


The last room we saw is one where the exhbits will change periodically – this year is the 100th anniversary of RAF Marham, so at the moment that is the subject of the exhibits.
Raf cap with cloth badge
RAF hat with cloth badge
The beret to which this metal badge is attached was impossible to image properly.


Next door to Stories of Lynn is the Town Hall, within which the meeting was to take place. We were meeting on the first floor and given my own attitude to lifts and the lack of available lift space I used the stairs. We were very early for the meeting, but refreshments had been set up in the largest of the upstairs rooms, just outside the room in which the meeting would be happening.

The meeting room – visually spectacular, but as we to discover the accoustics were very poor.

During the pre-meeting wait the window panes within the main window that folk had marked to show when they had worked on it were shown to me. Yesterday I showed a single image that I had assembled to putting together all my indvividual images. Today, I present all the images plus a few others I took at the same time…

Town Hall Window Montage
Here is the composite image as a quick reminder…
I assembled a large frame by connecting together these individual images, including one of the whole window, as the single panes were not quite enough to do the job….




And filled the central space with an enlarged image of the whole window.



The meeting began with the election of a chair and deputy chair (the former a councillor, the latter not). As newbies and therefore not qualified to form an opinion Karan and I both declined to vote.

Once council representatives on the forum had been appointed it was the turn of non-council representatives.

Then various matters were raised, including shop signs restricting access, the state of facilities at both the bus and train stations etcetera.

Proceedings drew to a close after just over an hour.


This section is necessary because I am going to Sweden for a fortnight, leaving on Friday. During that period posting will be restricted for obvious reasons. Finally, to finish this post here are some more pictures…


The Last Two Days

Images from the last couple of days at work and a mention of a future plan.


A decision to attend an evening meeting in the fine city of Norwich yesterday somewhat limited my computer access then, hence I am sharing stuff from more than one day.


Here are some images of auction lots taken over the last couple of days…


The first of nine images I took of lot 390


This book warranted six images


The specs of two supersonic aircraft – fans of Matthew Reilly will recognize the top one as the plane that replaces the destroyed Halicarnassus (Boeing 747) at the end of the Five Greatest Warriors.


Another aviation book that warranted multiple images


Colour pics of the two supersonic aeroplanes.


Lot 393 – local interest as it is about one of Norfolk’s most famous families.



These images were required for use on Ebay…



On Wednesday I attended the AGM of the West Norfolk Disability Forum, courtesy of an invite that came from Councillor Squire by way of NAS West Norfolk branch chair Karan McKerrow. I hope to put up a post about this tomorrow but for the moment as an appetiser, here is a montage featuring the extraordinary upstairs window of King’s Lynn  town hall…

Town Hall Window Montage