Monthly Archives: December 2014

Writer Interview

Here is a page for my interview with Katy Highet, writer of the mini audio drama You like this (2012). In the play, we listen in to the inner monologues of some speed daters whose communication leaves much to be desired. It’s only a five minute interview, but it gives some nice background information for the play, which is certainly well worth a listen if you haven’t heard it already.

Christmas Audio Drama

Created a page for my 10 minute audio drama Christmas Presents, recorded in 2012. I have included some background notes, written for a competition entry, alongside some very brief comments on how I feel about the play now.

I’m afraid it’s not exactly dripping with seasonal cheer, so if you’re looking for something heartwarming and life-affirming… well, it isn’t that. I hope you enjoy Christmas more than the characters do.

Christmas Presents

An elderly lady prepares to spend Christmas with her nephew and his family.

New Puzzle

OK. That business with the pirates was just a warm-up. The next puzzle is a bit more challenging.

It is based on something that I found myself wondering about one day. Is there a fair question that you can use as a tiebreaker to separate two quiz teams with identical knowledge? See the page for the exact details of the puzzle.

I have a solution, but there may well be others. I have given it a three-star rating for difficulty, but perhaps it is not as tough as that.

#2: The Ultimate Tiebreaker
A logic puzzle that I came up with myself.
Difficulty: ***
Maths knowledge required: None (though familiarity with some other logic puzzles may help)

Solution in a week or so.

Pirate Solution

I have posted the solution for The Pirate Puzzle. After writing it, I discovered that the puzzle is actually a well-established part of the recreational mathematics canon, a fact that I had not been aware of. However, there are some important differences between my formulation and the way that the puzzle is generally stated, as I discuss at the end of the solution page.

The Puzzle
The Solution

A distracting number theory problem

While working on part two of the Pointless article, I wandered over to Twitter and stumbled upon the following problem:

This caught my imagination and I did a bit of an investigation. The results were unexpectedly interesting, involving a connection to a mysterious problem at the cutting edge of number theory and a trip off into the numerical stratosphere in search of some fairly large solutions.

You can read my account of the problem here. The maths used here is probably about first year undergraduate level, and the style is certainly more technical than the Pointless article, so come prepared.

Audio Drama: The Final Act

Created a page for my 30 minute 1920s murder mystery audio The Final Act, recorded in 2012. I have included background notes, written for a competition entry, and some random musings about London traffic in the early twentieth century.

The Final Act

April 1928. Knightsbridge.

A body. A police inspector. Three suspects gathered in the library.

Think you know where this is going…?

Are you sure?