Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

Solution for 1.2 Storm (Answer = EUROCLYDON)

We can read clockwise or anti-clockwise around the grids to obtain names of tropical cyclones. After some research, it should be apparent that the grids refer to retired Australian cyclone names, retired Philippine typhoon names and retired Atlantic hurricane names respectively.

Furthermore, each of these has a different classification scale:

  1. Australia uses a scale from Category One to Category Five.
  2. The Philippines (PAGASA) uses a scale ranging from Tropical Depression to Super Typhoon. This can also be read as Signal 1 to Signal 4.
  3. The Atlantic hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale) also goes from Category One to Category Five, though with different speed ranges.

It remains to just identify all the tropical cyclones and index the signal or category number from their name:

CycloneScaleLetter
Agi2G
Gertie3R
Delilah2E
Margot4G
Manu2A
Erica5A
Audrey2U
Polly3L
Abigail3I
TyphoonScaleLetter
MilenyoTyphoon (3)L
BophaTyphoon (3)P
NitangTyphoon (3)T
PitangSuper Typhoon (4)A
WeningTyphoon (3)N
BebengTropical Storm (2)E
OndoyTyphoon (3)D
MelorTyphoon (3)L
JangmiTropical Storm (2)A
MerbokTropical Depression (1)M
WinnieTropical Depression (1)W
HurricaneScaleLetter
Isidore3I
Dora4A
Celia3L
Floyd4Y
Fran3A

This gives us 25 new letters, which can be places into the clued 5x5 grid in a regular left-to-right top-to-bottom manner:

GREGA
AULIL
PTANE
DLAMW
IALYA

Finally, reading clockwise in this new grid starting from the top-left corner spells out the clue GREGALE WAYLAID PAUL IN MALTA, for the final answer EUROCLYDON.

Editor's Notes:
This was not intended to be a difficult puzzle at all. The author and both test-solvers had somehow found the 1-4 typhoon scale rather than the correct 1-5 one. In fact, the 1-4 scale is what shows up if you perform a Google image search for pagasa category, but otherwise we should really have done a bit more research to know that it is no longer current. This fact went unnoticed until an hour before the hints, when we were wondering why Storm did not have anywhere near as many solves as we expected. After some research, we finally determined exactly where teams were getting stuck and decided at 11.55am to change the first hint to directly clue the 1-4 scale. Apologies to those whom we may have misled.