Travelling Companions


“There,” said the Actuary, handing me the solution to the puzzle I had given him five minutes earlier. I took it from him and checked it. He had gotten it right. “OK, so I believe you,” I said. “You’re a space and time travelling puzzle solver. But what could you want with me, then?”

“I heard you liked puzzles, too. I thought you might like to accompany me on a trip. It gets lonely travelling through space and time by yourself.”

I was about to mention the presentation I had to finish by morning when the Actuary cut me off. “Remember, I have a time machine. When we return, I can drop you off at a point five minutes from now. No one will ever know you’ve gone.”

That sealed it. “Sounds great,” I said. “Let’s go.”


As the Actuary opened the door to the police box, a thought crossed my mind. “Am I the first person you’ve taken on a journey like this?” I asked.

“No, the sixth.”

“What were the others like?”

“Why don’t you find out for yourself?” The Actuary handed me a piece of paper containing a logic puzzle. “Here’s a puzzle I made up about them. Solve it and you’ll know the names of each of my five companions, the year in which I met each of them, their home city or planet and their occupation.”


  1. The companion the Actuary met in 1477 AD was not Rose.
  2. Either the companion the Actuary met in 2525 AD or the companion he met in 5032 AD was from Athens.
  3. The Actuary met the companion from Athens before the companion who was a student.
  4. The Actuary met Sam before the companion from London.
  5. The student was Marty. 6. Of Gabrielle and Sam, one was from Mars and the other met the Actuary in 2525 AD.
  6. The companion from Tralfamadore wasn’t a time agent or a detective. 8. The rock star was from Mars.
  7. The time agent met the Actuary before Jack.
  8. The five companions were: the companion from London, Gabrielle, the companion who met the Actuary in 1985 AD, the time agent and the companion from Athens.




In Actuaries 186 you were given a partially completed clueless crossword and were told that all of the answers were synonyms. All of the answers to the crossword are words or phrases used to describe the parrot in Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch. The completed crossword is presented opposite:

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

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