Failing to Convert

A post provoked by an asinine comment I saw on cricinfo yesterday, dealing with the question of failure to convert in cricket.


This post was provoked by something I saw yesterday morning on cricinfo’s online coverage of the second ODI between England and Australia (I was at work, so could not listen to the commentary, but having this tab open and peeking occasionally in between doing other stuff was manageable – I was constantly using the internet for work purposes anyhow). 


England won this match by four wickets, with plenty of time to spare. Joe Root was there at the end on 46 not out. In the first match he had been there at the end on 91 not out. This coincidence that both times he was just short of a personal landmark led to a character posting under the name Dave (knowing what I do of such types I am not prepared to say that this is actually their name) to post a comment about Joe Root failing to convert. My response to this display of asininity is as follows:

  1. Failing to convert implies regularly getting out before reaching important landmarks and Joe Root was undefeated in both innings.
  2. Individual landmarks are valuable, and generally to win one needs someone to go to and well beyond several such, but cricket is a team game, and on both occasions Root missed his landmarks through playing a support role to people who were going more fluently at the other end (Jason Roy in game one, and Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes in game two).
  3. Joe Root has proven frequently that he can go on to and well past significant personal landmarks.

To end this section I quote a post from a few minutes after Dave’s which provides an indication of how good Root actually is in ODI chases:

Hypocaust: “Joe Root now has the 3rd highest average (87.06) in victorious ODI chases (min. 20 innings), behind Dhoni (102.72) and Kohli (93.64) and just ahead of Bevan (86.25).”


Here courtesy of brilliant is a puzzle:



Here is the solution to the problem that I included in my post England One Day International Record:



As usual we end with some photographs:


England One Day International Record

Some stuff about the ODI at the MCG, a neurodiversity quote, a mathematical puzzle and some photographs


After the horrors of the Ashes test series it makes a change to write about a winning performance from an England cricket team in Australia. I also have a few other things to share of course, including more of my photos.


The pitch at the MCG for the first of five One Day Internationals (50 overs per side) was a vast improvement of the strip they had produced for the test match, and the players produced a match worthy of the occasion. England won the toss and chose to field. England;s improvement in this form of the game since their horror show at the 2015 World Cup has been such that even before they started batting an Australia tally of 304 seemed inadequate.

England got away to a quick start, although Jonny Bairstow did a ‘Vince’ – looking very impressive for 20-odd and then giving it away. Alex Hales also fell cheaply, but Joe Root came out and played excellently, while Jason Roy produced the major innings that England needed from one of their top order. When his score reached 124 Roy had an England ODI record for the MCG, and that soon became an all-comers MCG record, to match Cook’s all-comers test record score for the MCG. When he went from 171 to 175 Roy establish a new England ODI individual scoring record. His dismissal for 180, with 200 just a possibility was a disappointment but by then the result was not in doubt, and even the loss of a couple more wickets in the dying overs served only to reduce the final margin. England won by five wickets with seven deliveries to spare, and it was a much more conclusive victory than those figures suggest because three of the wickets came with the outcome already settled courtesy of Roy. Joe Root also deserves credit for his support role to Roy’s pyrotechnics, a selfless display that saw him finish just short of his own hundred when the winning runs were scored. The Test squad has a lengthy shopping list of new players needed (two openers given Cook’s age, at least one new batsman for the middle order, a couple of genuine quicks and a serious spinner at minimum), but the ODI squad is in splendid fettle.


This comes courtesy of twitter:



Moorhenmixed birdslapwingsGulls and lapwings IItwo lapwingslapwing IIlapwing IGulls and lapwingsboat


Those of you who have read Alison’s response to my nominating her for a Blogger Recognition Award will have noticed that she specifically mentioned enjoying the puzzles that sometimes feature here. Here courtesy of the mathematical website brilliant is another:



The colony of muscovy ducks that I first saw in late 2017 are still in residence along a section of the Gaywood River that is close to where it enters The Walks en route to becoming the Millfleet, in which guise it flows into the Great Ouse…

Group shotdark muscovyGrey Muscovy IGrey Muscovy IIIMuscovy headdark muscoviesdark muscovy IIdark muscovy iiidark musciovi ivdark muscovy with white frontdark muscovies IIdark muscovies IIIdark muscovy with white front IIdark muscovy with white front IIIDark muscovy with white front VDark muscovy V


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,

Puzzles and Solutions

Some solutions and some new problems/ questions. Also details a thank you card for TFL and some photos.


I have solutions/ answers to some problems and a few new problems for you. I was going to be blogging about my activities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but that will have to wait until tomorrow now.


In my post “Coming Up – A Trip To Cornwall I set this juicy little puzzle:


Each of the three filled in columns contains one large number and several smaller numbers. In each case the big number is the sum of all the smaller numbers – 6 = 3+2+1, 28 = 14 + 7 + 4 + 2 + 1 and 496 = 248 + 124 + 62 + 31 + 16 +8 + 4 + 2 + 1. In each case the smaller numbers listed below the large number turn out to be all of that number’s factors. A number that is equal to the sum of all its factors is called a perfect number. Looking closer still we that 6 = 3 x 2, 28 = 7 x 4 and 496 = 31 x 16. In each case these multiplications consist of a larger number that can be expressed in the form (2 ^ n)-1 and the smaller number is equal to 2 ^ (n-1). Further, the larger multiplier is in each case a prime number. Investigation reveals that the next prime number of the form (2 ^ n)-1 is 127, and the other multiplier must therefore by 64. Multiplying these two numbers gives 8,128. Thus the final panel will consist of 8128, with vertically below it the numbers 4064, 2032, 1016, 508, 254, 127, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2 and 1. This was a tough puzzle but it would have been downright vicious had I made the door’s mechanism consist of five panels, these four and the fifth for you to work out – for a bonus can you explain why?

I also asked if anyone could identify to the real life door that I had used as the basis for the “Door of Death”. It is one of the doors to King’s Lynn Town Hall and in reality of course it is not remotely deadly (indeed barring dying of boredom during a council meeting there I can think of no risk of death anywhere in that building).


This one appeared in my post “The Gaywood River”. The answers are below:

Quiz - answers


I have three problems for you. The first comes from Trivia Hive. Unfortunately I cannot present it to you in their format without giving away the answer, so instead I present in plain text:

In which country is Europe’s only desert located?


Puzzle number two comes by way of the twitter feed of estate agents Abbot Fox:


Can you reveal the street name?

My third and final problem comes courtesy of the mathematical website brilliant and sends you on a treasure hunt:



I was delighted to receive an email from campaigning organisation sumofus inviting me to sign a thank you card to TFL for having given Uber the boot. I have already shared this invitation on facebook and twitter and ‘pressed’ it to my London transport themed website. I now invite my followers here to add their names to this thank you card: 



These photographs were taken in Norwich…


Mural 1
This is on the ‘ceiling’ portion of a covered passage near…
…the castle
Haart Map
This map is in the office of Haart in Norwich, and I could not resist trying to photograph it from the street.


Anderson Joins 500 Club and Other Stuff

Jimmy Anderon’s 500th test wicket, some links, some puzzles and some photographs.


As well as the title piece this post will feature links, pictures (items that will be going under the hammer at the end of September principally) and puzzles – including answers to a couple. 


As predicted by me in a previous post the third and final test match of the England v West Indies series has featured a moment of cricket history as James Anderson duly collected his 500th wicket in this form of the game. Among bowlers of anything other than spin Glenn McGrath leads the way overall with 563 (off-spinner Muralitharan’s 800 for Sri Lanka is the record, followed by leg-spinner Warne’s 709 for Australia). The two spinners have set marks that are not realistically within Anderson’s grasp but the 563 of McGrath is well and truly catchable. 

The historic moment came near the end of play yesterday, in the West Indies second innings (btw as I write this Anderson has increased his tally to 504) and it was a dismissal worthy of the occasion. He was denied in the West Indies first innings not by their batting (they managed a meagre 123 all out) but by a remarkable spell from Ben Stokes who finished that innings with figures of 6-22 – a test best for him. England led by 71, which looks like being decisive – the top score coming from Stokes (60). This combination of circumstances leads to me to finish this section with a raft of predictions/ hostages to fortune:

  1. The Brian Johnston champagne moment – James Anderson’s 500th test wick – 100% certain whatever happens in what is left of this match!
  2. Player of the match – Ben Stokes barring miracles.
  3. Player of the series – Ben Stokes – 100% nailed on.
  4. Match and series results: England win and take the series 2-1 – West Indies have just been dismissed for 177 in their second dig leaving England 107 to win – Anderson a career best 7-42 taking him to 506 test wickets.


I am grouping my links in categories, starting with…


Just two links in this subsection, both from americanbadassactivists and both concerned with that hate group masquerading as charity Autism Speaks, or as Laina at thesilentwaveblog calls them A$.


This subsection features four links:

  • First, courtesy of Wildlife Planet a piece titled “A Plant That Glows Blue In The Dark“.
  • With the unprecedented sight on weather maps of America and the Caribbean of three hurricanes poised to make landfall simultaneously (by now one of those, Irma, is already battering Cuba), A C Stark has prodcued a very timely piece whose title “Climate Change: The Elephant in the Room” is sufficient introduction.
  • This subsection closes with links to two posts from Anna. First we have Part 7 of her series about Butterflies in Trosa.

    The other post features a link to a video of a swimming sea eagle (only viewable on youtube) and a picture taken by Anna in which 11 sea eagles are visible.


This subsection includes one stand-alone link and four related links. The stand-alone link comes from Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK is titled “Scottish people deserve the data they need to decide, whatever their political persuasion.

My remaining four pieces concern a single individual who is widely tipped to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. It is this latter fact which has exposed him to intense scrutiny, resulting in the following collection about…


To set the scene we start with Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK’s piece simply titled “Jacob Rees-Mogg“. 

The second and third pieces in this sub-subsection both come courtesy of the Guardian:


With apologies to those of my readers whose first language is not English, and who therefore cannot take on this quiz, I offer you courtesy of quizly a test on one of the biggest sources of grammatical mistakes in English, safe in the knowledge that my own score in said quiz can be equalled but not beaten:


I appended a question to a link that featured the year 1729 in a recent post. This was the question:

The puzzle I am attaching to this is: which two famous mathematicians are linked by the number 1,729 and how did that link come about?

The two famous mathematicians linked by the number 1,729 are G H Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan. The link came about when Hardy visited Ramanujan in hospital during the latter’s final illness and mentioned the number of the cab in which he had travelled – 1,729 and went on to suggest that this was a very dull number. Ramanujan said in response “No Hardy, it is a very interesting number, the smallest that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways”.

 The other puzzle I set in that post was this one from brilliant:


If the statement on door 1 is true, then the treasure is behind door 2, which makes the statements on doors 2 and 3 both false = not acceptable.

If the statement on door 2 is true then the treasure is behind door 3, which makes both the other statements false = not acceptable.

If the statement on door 3 is true, then the statement on door 1 could also be true, making the statement on door 2 false – this scenario is acceptable.

Thus we open door 2 and collect the loot.

I finish by setting you another puzzle, again from brilliant, the 100th and last problem in their 100 Day Challenge, and a cracker:

SC100 - q

Don’t be intimidated by that maximum difficulty rating – it is not as difficult as the creators thought. Incidentally you still have a couple of days to answer the problems properly on that website should you choose to sign up – although it would be tough to them all in that time!


This is lot 1 in our next sale – the first of 200 lots of old military themed postcards. Can you guess which of the lots pictured here is on my radar as a potential buy?
Lot 329 (four images) – a fine volume when new but this copy is in terrible condition.


Lot 340
Lot 347 (two images)


Lot 341 (six images)


£2 - Trevithick 2
I picked up this coin in change at Morrison’s today and I took two photos of it, both of which I offer you to finish this post (it is only the Reverse that makes it interesting – the Obverse is the usual portrait of ludicrously over-privileged old woman).

£2 - Trevithick 1


Puzzles and Pictures

A puzzle based on a blog post, a solution to an old puzzle, another puzzle from brilliant and some photographs


Earlier today I put up a post titled “About Autism“, and because that post contained so much stuff this post is going to be much smaller – and with only a few links, all in one way or another puzzle connected. 


Ester put up a post titled “Year 1729“, which featured the image below:


The puzzle I am attaching to this is: which two famous mathematicians are linked by the number 1,729 and how did that link come about?


In a post on Monday titled “Autism, Disability, Mathematics, Religion, Politics” which featured the following problem:
Marble Q

Below is first the answer that I gave, and then one of the solutions posted on brilliant:


This solution from Arjen Vreugdenhil was particularly neat:



This is another problem from Brilliant – can you find the treasure?



PC 2Cormorants and gullstaking the plungeLarge slugCormorants 5Cormorants 4Cormorants and West Lynn ChurchCormorants 3Cormorants 2CormorantsFlying gull agains sunsetFlying gullblack slugtownscape

This time the little wagtail has the shot to itself.