You are Here

“We’re lost,” said the Actuary.

“What do you mean, we’re lost?” I replied, trying to remain calm. When you’re billions of kilometres from home, not to mention several thousand years away, the last thing you want to hear is that you’re lost.

“I mean just that. We. Are. Lost. The navigational computer blew a fuse and now, whenever I try to query it, it keeps on insisting we’re at the 2017 Actuaries Summit, which I can assure you, is definitely not the case.” He pulled a screwdriver out of his back pocket and held it up. “I’m going to try to fix it, but while I’m at it, why don’t you go outside and have a look around? Who knows, you might find a sign that tells us where we are.”

I thought the idea of finding a sign out there, in the middle of nowhere, sounded a bit far-fetched, but I decided to go outside anyway, if only to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. As a result, it came as a complete surprise to me when, as soon as I stepped out of the Actuary’s time machine, I literally tripped over such a sign. We had landed right on top of it and knocked it over in the process.

The sign was in English, which was a relief, but it might as well have been written in Martian, for all the good it did me. It appeared that, wherever we were, the locals believed in presenting information in the form of puzzles. I thought about going back and asking the Actuary for help, but decided against it. Instead, I studied the sign for a few moments and then got to work. The Actuary wasn’t the only one who was good at solving puzzles.


  1. ProtectiveHeadwear / Tree
  2. SpeakSoftly / BelongingtoHim
  3. UnitofMass / Record
  4. LandMass / Prong
  5. RoyalTitle / Joke
  6. Lucky / Fish
  7. Client / Book
  8. Plume / Consume
  9. Croaky / Paddle

Using the clues provided, identify nine words which can be fitted into the grid provided. Each clue gives a definition of the overall word and a definition of a shorter word contained within the overall word. Once you have filled in the grid, use this information to decipher the coded message presented beside the grid and figure out the Actuary’s location.

For your chance to win a $50 book voucher, email your solution (with working) to:

The Puzzle Kings

Actuaries 189 Solution

The answers to the two puzzles presented in Actuaries 189 are as follows:

Sam Loyd’s puzzle

The exact time (between eight and eight thirty) when the angle between the six and the hour hand of a clock is the same as the angle between the six and the minute hand is 18 minutes, 27.69 seconds past eight.

Henry Dudeney’s puzzle

The time when the hour hand of a clock is exactly 120 degrees ahead of the minute hand and the minute hand is as close as possible to being 120 degrees ahead of the second hands is: 54 minutes, 32.73 seconds past two.

The winner of this month’s prize, selected randomly from among the eight correct entries that were submitted, was Thomas Wong, who will receive a $50 book voucher.

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