Thanks for the information. I am checking them out.

]]>Kiwi6 is a free www file hosting service for storing and sharing files - here's a link to their 'About' page.

**EDIT:** I now use Imgur, as I had trouble with Kiwi6.

I've only just joined up and so I don't know much about them, but so far so good. The uploading and sharing process is easy...don't know much about what else they offer. They have a paid service with more benefits, but the free one will do me.

One excellent feature that most free file hosts don't have is hotlinking, whereby a file displays directly in your browser when you click on the link.

Theirs works without any popups or need to download the file...which is great for forums, I thought. You'll notice that as soon as you click on the links in my previous post the files will open.

I usually hold down the Ctrl key while I click so that the document opens in another tab instead of my current window. I use Google Chrome, but I think most browsers have that feature now.

]]>What is kiwi6?

]]>I've had trouble with the file host for this old puzzle and have now changed to Kiwi6.

**EDIT**: Now using Imgur, but for this one I'm using OneDrive because their image is much clearer.

]]>

Your answer to Part A is correct.

Just thought I'd confirm that for you because Part B's solution relies on the answer to Part A being correct.

I've started to have a look at your method for Part A, but have a way to go with it yet.

part-B? I'm already panicked by your repetitive instructions to use a computer to solve it.

I was just trying to be helpful, wanting to save you a few years' time if you did it by hand.

It should be possible to do by hand, because, contrary to what I said in my first post, I initially composed it by using paper, pen and a scientific calculator. Transferring it to Excel helped me to refine it and increase the difficulty level.

]]>part-A was quite easy but charming

part-B? I'm already panicked by your repetitive instructions to use a computer to solve it.

Nonetheless, I'll give a try!!

I will get around to part b. I just am swamped at the moment.

]]>I think I'll give up on the idea of interesting anybody in coming up with an Excel solution to Part B (although most of the spreadsheet construction is pretty straight forward, especially if using the hints I gave...but there are a couple of quite interesting bumps in the road, too).

I'll just mention that one of the two people whom I said in my first post had solved it used Mathematica, and I suspect that the other one did too - or something similar.

Also, anyone interested in a good prime-factorization function for Excel might like to have a look at the link I gave in the puzzle. The function can handle numbers up to 1e15, and on my computer takes just 2 seconds to determine that 999999999999989 is prime (*much *less than that for factorizing composite numbers).

The author very kindly included for me a handy optional argument that reverses the factor order - which is probably totally useless for any purpose other than my puzzle . Factors are output in a comma-delimited string, containing repeat factors (powers), if any: eg, input "1926", output "2,3,3,107" (or, *arranged in descending prime factor order*: "107,3,3,2").

I've only dabbled a bit in programming code and haven't learnt efficient, optimised techniques. I just know enough BASIC to get by with simple puzzle stuff...which keeps me happy enough, although I sometimes wish I knew more. At times I wonder how my clumsy efforts could be improved to look and perform better with more efficient coding...but I'll just continue to dream about it, as there's a limit to my limited time!

My BASIC program runs in approx 1 second, while the person who wrote the 'C' code said theirs ran in 0.017sec. That time difference is about as long as it takes me to sneeze, so I won't worry too much about it.

Here's an image of an Excel 4.0 macro that someone sent me. With MESSAGE (cell D12) 'on' it runs in 17 seconds, and with it 'off' it takes 6 seconds. Those times are for Excel v2002...in v2007 it takes 419 secs (yes - that's right!!) and 8 secs respectively.

Still, I'm not too concerned about any of that as Part A comprises only a tiny portion of the whole puzzle. It's only there to get things started for Part B, which is a MUCH more serious undertaking.

Recently I made several improvements to my spreadsheet solution. This has reduced the time for the entire process of testing the 0-3000 AD year range against the many rules to find my YOB and Part A's YOP, including performing the "Solution check", to just 1 second.

]]>There are "only" 151200 different phone numbers to try, and that code could easily get the answer in less than a second on a reasonable computer.]]>

That code you hide in post #7 will get the answer but it is inefficient.

]]>The answer will probably jump out at me as soon as I post this, but there's something about your method that I don't understand:

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Here's my code:

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Mine has some parallels with yours. I've tried to explain my method but found the going a bit difficult. It's too wordy and not as neatly-structured as yours...but I hope it makes sense:

The answer will probably jump out at me as soon as I post this, but there's something about your method that I don't understand:

]]>