OK,
I installed R using zypper some time back, but then I read that I should have used a specific repository called Rpatched.

So (note order) I added the repository, then remove R (called R-base) and then proceeded to install the package.

Clearly in my repository list there is more than one source of R.

Should I have removed the package first and then add the new repository?

How in fact does zypper deal with different repositories when they all have the same package? I expect it might choose the most recent version.
But what happens when the packages are patched? How doe si tidetermine the best version of the package to use?