I had a look at this week's in The Times on saturday (link), and can't make head nor tail of it.

The instructions:

One digit is to be inserted in each cell. Twenty-five letters of the alphabet (excluding N) represent different 2-, 3- or 4-digit positive whole numbers. These, and the 44 grid entries, all have something in common. When the letters are appropriately sorted, a hint will appear which will help solvers to discover the theme.

Solvers are to confirm their solution's status for the puzzle's prize draw by summing the grid entries and writing the thematic version of this sum below the grid. All the grid entries are different and none of them starts with a zero. N! represents "N factorial", eg, 4! = 4x3x2x1 = 24.

If anyone can shed *any* light on this at all, I'd be most grateful.

[edit] oh, wait. say the clue is:

W = 3T = 3O + T

the value for W is the same as that for 3x(whatever T is), which is the same as 3*O +T

which means that 2*T = 3*O

and it's all just one giant bit of (admittedly stupidly hard) algebra?

*lightbulb*

[edited edit]

would TTT therefore be the same as T*T*T?

As T is a 2-digit number, there must be a fairly limited set of T which when mulitplied by itself 3 times would give a 4 digit number? In fact it would have to be between 10 and 21 (inclusive), if my maths is anything to go by...