numbers: Beetle-mania

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Here are a few of the numbers particularly worth remembering from the past week:

34: the number of pence an 18-year-old had to pay to receive a birthday card from her local MP. The card, from Gerry Malone (MP for Winchester) to Emma Frost, reminding her that she is now old enough to vote, was missing a stamp.

2,142: record-players out of which Martin Gutierrez Sandoval, a retired Mexican, has made a Volkswagen Beetle.

14,375: pounds fetched by a 1987 Mini with number plate HI5. The companion HER5 went for pounds 8,050.

3,730,606: one-franc coins delivered by a gambler to the French revenue offices in payment of tax on his winnings.

50,000,000: the approximate number of people in the United Kingdom who have not yet tasted ostrich, according to Breadwinner, a sandwich company now offering an ostrich and olive filling.

Competition: Another set of our "26 L of the A" (Letters of the Alphabet) teasers. Can you fill in the missing words? Three Chambers Dictionary prizes await correct answers.

1789 D of the F R

1806 P in the S R

2916 I of the I I T

41760 M in F T Y

14,097,618 C V in the L G E

Entries, by 5 Mar, to: Pastimes, The Independent, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

1 February competition:

Answers: 1 Letter in a First Person Singular Pronoun; 3 Little Pigs; 5 Lines in a Limerick; 5 Great Lakes of North America; 11 Ladies Dancing. Winners: Peter Charlton, Jean Hancock, Allan Beavers.

8 February competition:

Answers: 2 Sons of Eve (Cain and Abel), 4 Railway Stations on a Monopoly Board, 6 Numbers on a Die, 8 Black Pawns in a Chess Set, 10 Square Root of a Hundred.

Winners: Gerald Townsend, Mark W Evans, Christine Harrop.

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