It was approaching the Easter Holidays at Farthingbottom School and Class 5M had been asked to clean out the cricket pavilion, ready for the start of the season next term.

Under one of the benches in the "Away" changing room they came across an expensive-looking cricket bag with a number of pads and a several bats in it.

"I think we need to get this bag back to the rightful owner", said Felix, "or at least to the right building."
"Are there any clues who it might belong to?" asked Portia
"There's this," said Randolph, pulling a battered UK atlas out of the bag.
As he pulled it out, a single sheet of paper fell from between the pages.

One side of the paper looked a bit like this:enter image description here

And the other side looked like this:enter image description here

"These look bowling scoresheets" said Portia.
"Yes, but there's something a bit odd about them - there's not a single extra in any of the overs" replied Felix.

"Look here", said Randolph, "if you hold it up to the light, there's a watermark."
True enough, the outline of a bird could be seen, along with the letters P S C F
"I'm not sure the watermark will help us find what we're looking for", said Portia, "but it might just confirm that we've got the right place."

"How do we know which side of the paper to look at first?", said Randolph.
"Let's just hope it's obvious if we get things in the wrong order" answered Felix.

Question: Can you help Class 5M work out where to send the cricket bag?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Does solving this require knowledge of cricket? (I know nothing about cricket.) $\endgroup$ – dpwilson Mar 21 '16 at 18:20
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @dpwilson No, this puzzle could be solved by someone with no knowledge of cricket whatsoever. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Mar 21 '16 at 18:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The dots on the cards look alot like braille... $\endgroup$ – Keir Apr 12 '16 at 13:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there meant to not be any symbol next to the 6 on the top row? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Apr 14 '16 at 14:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi - Well spotted. There should be a dot there $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Apr 14 '16 at 14:52

The bag belongs to the:

Cirencester Cricket Club

KeyboardWielder pointed out that:

The names are anagrams of "Eastings" and "Northings"

Based on the work of LeppyR64, you need to:

Sum up the runs in each box, and stop at a W. You get 12 pairs of coordinates:

Eastings Northings
487010 200880
401660 378630
359486 298349
439290 458940
508866 336243
595530 235680

Eastings Northings
347849 1016464
428930 272180
465241 348546
388348 418002
262300 274820
324340 305929

Each of those maps to a:

Town/village with a hidden number as part of its name:

Stretton Westwood
Honey Tye


Taking those gives us a new:

Pair of coordinates: 202131 and 401208

And mapping those takes us to:

The Cirencester Cricket Club

P S C F stands for:

Prorsum semper corinium floret, the latin motto of the Cirencester Cricket Club, which translates perhaps to Ever Forward, Corinium Flourishes (Corinium being the Roman name for the town).

Which can be found on the club flag, along with the watermark:

Cirencester flag

  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain the bird watermark and "P S C F"? $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 10 '16 at 20:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LeppyR64 Gave it a shot. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell May 10 '16 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent! The children are delighted. Gave LeppyR64 +1 for his contribution too. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K May 10 '16 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ As did I! Couldn't have done it without him. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell May 10 '16 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ Very good! Thanks for finishing it off. I think what I was tripping on was the "nils". I was seeing the numbers but they weren't clicking because I was missing nil. Good work! $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 10 '16 at 21:46


Following the tracks of the others. By summing up the runs in the boxes (all less than 10) and then stopping at the wicket (w) yields the following pairs:


Eastings Northings
487010 200880
401660 378630
359486 298349
439290 458940
508866 336243
595530 235680


Eastings Northings
347849 1016464
428930 272180
465241 348546
388348 418002
262300 274820
324340 305929


Using OSGB36 references makes this look a lot better.

UK Map

  • $\begingroup$ The children think you are definitely onto something here. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K May 5 '16 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ Randolph says "Maybe there's some system other than UTM for referencing locations in the UK with Easting / Northing coordinates?" $\endgroup$ – Gordon K May 6 '16 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ Portia points out that there are little dots in the UK atlas that match the pins on your latest map. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K May 6 '16 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonK Yay! I was pretty certain there would be but confirmation is a good thing :) $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 6 '16 at 15:02

Partial answer. Not sure if its right or not:

Using the Easting and Northing coordinate system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easting_and_northing
as noted by @Zandar, the names are anagrams for Eastings and Northings

Taking the sum of all the numbers in an "over" (the sum is always < 10) as a digit of the coordinates : XX degrees, XX', XX" and assuming the W represents the start/end of each of the coordinate You get the following :

48 degrees 70' 10" Easting, 20 degrees 8' 80" Northing
40 degrees 16' 60" Easting, 37 degrees 86' 30" Northing
35 degrees 94' 86" Easting, 29 degrees 83' 49" Northing

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There could be something in this, though you don't get more than 60 minutes in a degree or more than 60 degrees in a second. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Apr 15 '16 at 9:34

Partial analysis:

The team names [corrected with help from @Zandar]:

The anagrams are "Eastings" and "Northings"

The scores:

= runs for wickets in overs
= (sum of numbers) for (count of 'W's) in (number of boxes)
Commonly written as runs/wickets (overs)

Eastings: 159/6 (36)
Northings: 155/6 (36)
Eastings: 146/6 (36)
Northings: 137/6 (37)
(If I counted right)

The solution probably:

Uses these numbers as distances, but I'm not sure of the reference and unit. Possibly UTM zone 5M.

  • $\begingroup$ See comment above: [At sign] dpwilson No, this puzzle could be solved by someone with no knowledge of cricket whatsoever. – Gordon K Mar 21 at 18:23 $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Apr 14 '16 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ But I like this attempt. $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Apr 14 '16 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ The anagrams are more likely "eastings" and "northings". $\endgroup$ – Zandar Apr 14 '16 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Zandar: I though of that too, but it didn't make sense till I looked at Wikipedia just now. $\endgroup$ – KeyboardWielder Apr 14 '16 at 20:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @chriscudmore The cricket bag doesn't look like it's ever been on a plane. There are no baggage stickers on it. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Apr 14 '16 at 22:08

Partial attempt

I'm not familiar with neither cricket nor bowling scoring, but I noticed that the W marked boxes follow a quite strict pattern on two levels:
- they appear in every sixth box (with the only exception being the 4th panel, where there is an extra first box) - maybe this suggests, that the sides are in reversed order?;
- the position of the W inside the box is also quite regular in the 1st panel: goes from left to right, then next row, cyclically, only exception in the last box.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.