The anaesthetist

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The number of the week is 159,013 - the total car sales in Britain in Feb 1996. The figure has been called "encouraging" by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which points out that it shows a 4.39 per cent rise on the Feb 1995 figure. What the statement doesn't point out, however, is that February itself showed a 3.57 per cent rise on the same month in 1995, with an encouraging increase in the number of days from 28 to 29. According to our calculations, the average daily sale is up by only 0.79 per cent - nothing to leap about, really.

Competition: Five more of our "26 L of the A" (Letters of the Alphabet) teasers, with three Chambers Dictionary prizes for correct solutions:

3 R P (C A and E)

4 J A I D

5 N C in R U

6 D S T L

7 G in N H H

Entries (to arrive by 19 Mar) to: Pastimes, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

15 February Competition:

The correct order (smallest to largest) is: spots drawn in Disney's 101 Dalmations; cars made in Japan in 1991; lottery tickets; bottles of Champagne drunk in UK; minutes lived by Mozart; population of France.

Winner: Nicholas Gough.

22 February Competition:

Answers: 1789 Date of the French Revolution; 1806 Pages in the Scott Report; 2916 Issues of the Independent Including Today's; 41760 Minutes in February This Year; 14,097,618 Conservative Votes in the Last General Election.

Winners: Liz Golding, Tony Doyle, Paul Terry.