Australia may only be the 53rd largest country in the world by human population, but when it comes to venomous snakes, we’re number one.  With the largest number of snakes of any country, Australia is home to around 140 species of land snake.  Although only around 10% of these are poisonous, they include all of the world’s top 10 most venomous snakes and 17 of the world’s top 20.

Nevertheless, deaths by snake bite are extremely rare in Australia – only four to six per year. By contrast, India, with a population approximately 50 times that of Australia’s, has over 10,000 times the number of deaths by snake bite per year. This is in part due to ease of access to anti-venoms within Australia, but also due to the fact that Australia’s human population lives primarily in built-up cities, while its snake population generally prefers the country. Still, from time to time, Australian city dwellers do come across snakes in their backyards. If this ever happens to you, the secret is not to panic.  Although snakes can be extremely dangerous, they don’t see humans as a source of food.  Provided you leave them alone, they generally, will do the same in return and will slither off without causing anyone any harm.

## The Viper Club

This month’s puzzle is a snake or slitherlink puzzle. Originating in Japan in the 1980s, a snake or slitherlink puzzle is a logic puzzle in which you are given a grid of numbers and your job is to draw vertical or horizontal lines along the edges of the grid squares such that a single, meandering loop is formed with no branches and which does not cross itself. A number inside a square indicates the number of lines that surround that square. However, empty cells may be surrounded by any number of lines from 0 to 3. For example, below is a completed 5 x 5 slitherlink:

For your chance to win a $50 book voucher, solve the 7 x 7 slitherlink given below and email your solution to: inthemargin@actuaries.asn.au. ## Black and White (Actuaries Digital 201 Solution) The thirty-five famous duos hidden in the wordsearch given in Actuaries Digital 201 (with column number, row number and direction given in brackets) are: Abbott (3,11,NE) and Costello(15,4,SW); Adam (13,19,NE) and Eve (17,12,W); Bacon (9,4,W) and Eggs (12,18,NE); Barbie (11,13,N) and Ken (5,16,SE); Batman (7,15,NW) and Robin (7,9,W); Bert (11,10,SE) and Ernie (12,18,N); Black (8,20,E) and White (18,19,N); Bonnie (7,15,S) and Clyde (11,20,NE); Castor (11,20,NW) and Pollux (15,6,NW); Fish (6,20,NE) and Chips (16,19,NE); Lois (14,15,W) and Clark (6,12,S); Day (13,20,N) and Night (3,9,NE); Phobos (4,7,SE) and Deimos (14,17,NW); Simon (20,7,W) and Garfunkel (1,2,SE); Ladies (13,8,SE) and Gentlemen (1,2,E); Gilbert (8,7,SE) and Sullivan (9,12,N); Hansel (7,13,SW) and Gretel (14,10,S); Laurel (9,20,NE) and Hardy (17,18,W); Heaven (2,17,E) and Hell (16,17,NW); Holmes (7,11,NE) and Watson (10,3,SE); Jekyll (3,18,N) and Hyde (4,14,SW); Jack (19,8,S) and Jill (19,8,N); Tarzan (10,14,W) and Jane (1,4,NE); Tom (18,16,W) and Jerry (13,13,NE); Punch (12,10,NE) and Judy (10,2,E); Romeo (17,15,NW) and Juliet (19,8,SW); Left (19,5,W) and Right (12,17,W); Thunder (7,7,NW) and Lightning (10,9,NW); Owl (6,9,SW) and Pussycat (15,6,W); War (5,10,SE) and Peace (16,13,NE); Salt (13,6,N) and Pepper (19,16,NW); Romulus (13,12,N) and Remus (15,11,S); Rock (15,2,S) and Roll (7,12,NE); Stars (9,12,S) and Stripes (12,6,S); Trinidad (8,3,W) and Tobago (18,6,SW). Three correct answers were submitted. The winner of this month’s prize, selected randomly from among the correct entries, was Rebecca Trouville, who will receive a$50 book voucher.

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