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The answer to (and winner of) our September 2019 newsletter competition
This month's word search proved challenging, with only four correct answers submitted. The unused letters in the word search revealed a question, as this blog explains.

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 October 2019

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September 2019 Newsletter Competition - Results/Answer

After the bumper response to the inaugural Wise Owl newsletter competition last month, disappointingly only 4 people managed to crack this month's word search.  Out of these, the Wise Owl electronic sorting hat awarded Alex Wallace of Manchester Metropolitan University this month's £50 voucher.

After the Excel wizardry used to pick last month's winner, I resorted to tossing a coin twice in a row to pick this month's fortunate.  For those interested in these things, Alex won by coming up heads twice.

The word search revealed 34 words to do with Excel:

Hidden words

DATEDIF is an undocumented function in Excel, but does work.


Filling these in gave this grid:

Complete grid

The final word search grid.

Reading across and down from left to right (just like Excel does when you loop over a collection of cells!) reveals the question:


The answer, of course, is The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, but I accepted any other book title submitted.

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