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The Wise Owl October 2019 newsletter competition - complete the phrase
Test your Excel skills by finding a way to follow a series of instructions to accumlulate numbers and unlock the hidden question.

Posted by Andy Brown on 14 October 2019

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October 2019 Newsletter Competition - Complete the Phrase

For this month's competition, all that you need to do is to download this file, follow the instructions and complete the phrase.

It's an Excel file which doesn't contain any macros, so is completely harmless.  If your IT people won't let you download it ask us to email the workbook to you instead.

The worksheet contains 28 boxes.  As you change the numbers in the numbered orange boxes, the hidden phrase updates:

Hidden phrase

The default phrase is a line of asterisks.

As an example, if you type 2500 into the first box, you'll see that the first letter of the question changes to a P:

An example

Don't forget to set the number back to 0!


There are two worksheets - the second one contains 2,293 instructions to follow:

The second worksheet

The instructions sheet.


Obviously it doesn't matter in what order you follow the instructions, but if you execute them all a question will appear in the blue box.  To enter the competition, follow this one final instruction:

Newsletter email

Please send the question (and your answer to it) to this email address.  The first valid answer drawn out of the randomised electronic Wise Owl hat will win a £50 Amazon voucher.


There are several different approaches that you can take, but the one I definitely do NOT recommend is doing this manually!

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