Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Ep 184: Tony Loui, Alison Crowe (September 22, 2016; originally aired April 14, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.


Tony Loui gets his turn in the champion's seat tonight, and we find out that he took a year off from being a doctor and instead worked as a flight attendant (travelling overseas); he adds that he loves travelling.  Richard asks how Tony found the experience, and Tony agrees with Richard's remark that it was a huge change.  Coping with the effects of flying can be difficult, and it was hard work, but he found it to be thoroughly enjoyable.

Tonight's challenger is Alison Crowe, a physical education student and competitive rower.  In fact, Alison has twice represented Australia in rowing -- she has been in two under-23 teams.  That involved racing overseas, in Germany and the Czech Republic (some details can be found here).  She lists that as probably one of the greatest things she has done so far.


It was a dominant performance from Tony tonight: He started off by finding a full monty, and followed up with an eight-letter word to sprint out to a huge early lead.  He continued to score well with the letters, and the numbers offered little scope for Alison to regain the lost ground.  Tony was a certain victor going into the second break.  He rounded off an excellent game by solving the conundrum quickly, posting a final winning score of 83 to 33.

I was having an even better game than Tony, as it turns out, but then the SBS website became uncooperative, refusing to advance past the end of round five.  I had to give up on it and come back a day or so later; that interruption, I believe, was responsible for my poor performance in round six as I came back to it cold (as it were).  A shame, as I felt in really good form at the time.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Ep 183: Tom Fooks, Tony Loui (September 21, 2016; originally aired April 13, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.


It's the third night for Tom Fooks, and the topic turns to knitting.  Tom says that he is part of a very esteemed club of motorcycle riders who knit.  (Sadly, he does not mean an actual club.)  He mostly knits little toys for cousins and friends and such, but occasionally does other things.  For instance, he has just completed a scarf, which he hopes will help out come winter.

Tonight's challenger is Tony Loui, a medical officer in a regional private hospital.  Tony also works as a hotel doctor in the Sydney CBD, so when a four- or five-star hotel has a guest who is ill, he might get called in to look at them.


The game started out quite closely, with matched scores in the first two letters rounds.  An error from Tony in the first numbers round saw Tom take the lead, but Tony levelled the scores again in the next letters round.  The remaining letters rounds provided no advantage to either contestant, but Tom was just slightly off the pace in the numbers; Tony solved them exactly, giving him a winning lead going into the conundrum.  It turned out to be too hard for everyone, so the game finished 52 to 32 in Tony's favour.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ep 182: Tom Fooks, Helen Hewitt (September 20, 2016; originally aired April 12, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.


Tom Fooks is back in the champion's seat tonight, but this time he has a win under his belt.  We find out that Tom rides a motorbike -- he loves the feeling of being on it -- and his favourite place to ride is down the Great Ocean Road.

Tonight's challenger is Helen Hewitt, a primary school teacher and netball umpire.  Helen has been an umpire for some time: She started off playing netball, then after she got older and had a few injuries she still wanted to be involved so she switched to umpiring.  Helen supervises over at Netball Victoria.


Helen fell victim to a phantom letter in the first round, allowing Tom to take an early lead.  A couple of shared rounds followed; then a good find from Helen put her ahead by a single point.  The fifth round was also shared, but then Helen faltered in the second numbers round, missing a relatively easy solution and catapulting Tom back into the lead.  He found an excellent word in round seven to push further ahead, but then he blanked on the last numbers round.  That gave Helen a chance, but she was unable to capitalise on the opportunity; she entered the conundrum behind by eleven points.  Tom solved it quickly in any case, finishing the winner with 55 points to 34.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Ep 181: Tom Fooks, Phillip Gao (September 19, 2016; originally aired April 11, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.


We have two new contestants tonight, after Victor Tung's successful retirement in the previous episode.  That's somewhat good for me, given that I'm kind of starting anew after a gap.  First up, taking the champion's seat is Tom Fooks, a law student.  Richard notes that Tom is still at the study stage of the process, but asks what areas of law interest Tom the most.  Tom responds that he first got into studying law through working as a judge's associate last year, in the area of industrial relations, and that is something that he is really keen to get back into.  He takes the rosy view that it is helping employers and employees work together for the best possible outcomes.

Taking the challenger's seat is Phillip Gao, an accounting and finance student who is also a part-time auditor.  Richard informs us that Phillip does voluntary work with youth, and Phillip expands on that -- he is a volunteer with Wesley Mission Victoria, in their Kids Under Kanvas program.  (I sigh at the gratuitous misspelling in the program's name.)  That involves going on weekend outings with disabled children, to such places as Luna Park, the AFL sailing, and such.  Phillip finds it a really rewarding program.


Tom took the early lead by finding a seven-pointer in the first round, and was never headed thereafter.  Phillip really struggled on the words, never managing to find longer than five, and the only round where he managed to outpoint Tom was the second numbers round (where again he scored five points).  Tom's better handling of the letters gave him a comfortable margin, and he was safe going into the conundrum.  Neither contestant could solve it, so the game finished with Tom the victor, 46 to 27.


Weekly summary: Episodes 176 to 180

This is just a placeholder, to be filled in later when I catch up.

Ep 180: Victor Tung, Dan Boxshall (September 16, 2016; originally aired April 8, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

Just the summary for now, as I'm still very behind.


Ep 179: Victor Tung, Jon Avotins (September 15, 2016; originally aired April 7, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

Just the summary for now, as I'm still very behind.