Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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A small Excel-based solution to Listener 4438 (Can't You Do Division? by Oyler)

This is less of a comment on Oyler's puzzle (which I enjoyed) and more of an observation on potential solving (and setting) technique.

After completing the puzzle I thought it would be interesting to see whether it would be solvable entirely within Excel.

Several false starts later I managed a solution in quite a small spreadsheet (about 15 columns by 150 rows total, including annotations); calculating the (30) pandigital squares fit entirely on one screen (evidence here). This was without any VBA code, macros or other programming. (I did have some help from a data analysis Excel add-in.)

I thought some of the methods used might be helpful in future puzzles to both solvers and setters, especially Excel users but non-programmers, so I've written up my solution here for any readers who might be interested in how this was done. I've also shared the workbooks at the link in case anyone wants to run them for themselves. (To do this you'll need to install and register the Excel add-in, but it's free and I can vouch for its safety as I'm involved in its developement.)

If anyone has a better / smaller Excel-based solution or can see improvements to my workbooks I would be very interested.


Small excel-based solution to "Can't You Do Division?"


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