Call for the Actuary


Greetings and salutations, readers, and welcome back to In the Margin for 2014. This year, I am going to share with you an unusual experience that happened to me recently. I swear, every word is true – give or take a lie or two.

I was the last one left in the office, stuck working back late on a presentation, when I heard a strange whooshing noise coming from the kitchen. Hoping it was just the television, but fearing the worst, I went to see what it could be. However, my actuarial training had not prepared me in the least for what I found. Parked in the middle of the kitchen was a blue police phone box, much like the ones they had in London in the 1960s.

While I was staring at it, speechless, uncertain of what to do, the door of the box opened and out stepped a strange looking man.

“Hello,” he said. “I’m the Actuary.”

“Don’t you mean the Doctor?” I stammered, once I regained the ability to speak.

“The Doctor? Never heard of him. No, I’m the Actuary. I travel through time and space solving puzzles.”

“How do I know you’re telling the truth?”

The Actuary gestured towards the police box. “Well, firstly, a space and time travelling police box is standing in the middle of your kitchen, which is strong evidence in favour of the whole time and space travel thing, and if you have a puzzle handy, I can prove the puzzle solving part. I have never encountered a puzzle I couldn’t solve.”

I looked around the kitchen and noticed a puzzle that someone had left lying unsolved on one of the tables. “OK,” I said, picking it up and handing it to the Actuary. “Try this one.”

The Actuary studied the puzzle for a few moments and then pulled out a pen. “Oh, this one’s easy.”

Hidden in the following wordsearch are the names of 50 movies that contain numbers in their titles. However, the numbers have been removed, as has the word ‘the’ from any titles beginning with the definite article (e.g. The Lucky One would appear simply as ‘Lucky’). No sequels have been included and where multiple titles exist that are identical except for the number component (e.g. 88 Minutes and 15 Minutes) only one is counted.



The solution to the Hypersudoku puzzle given in Actuaries 185 is:


38 correct answers were submitted. The winner of this month’s prize, selected randomly from among the correct entries, was Alan Wylie, who will receive a $50 book voucher.

Identify all 50 titles, use the remaining letters to create two more titles:


CPD: Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every hour of reading articles on Actuaries Digital.