Monday, 14 November 2011

Ep 316: Peter Crop, Ryan Sutton (November 14, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

David tries to stump Peter with some music trivia of his own.  He asks him what 80's British band was named after a villain in the film Barbarella?  That's a fairly easy one; I recall watching the movie with friends and a great deal of merriment was had each time the villainous scientist's name was said.  The band is Duran Duran, and Peter has no trouble with this question.

Challenging Peter today is economics student and sports statistician Ryan Sutton.  He is asked what his job involves and makes it sounds like one of the best jobs ever, in that he sits back, relaxes, watches sport, and occasionally presses buttons.

I auditioned for Letters and Numbers earlier this year, and met Ryan during the audition; I had quite a pleasant chat with him and a couple of other hopefuls.  I was glad to see that he made it onto the show, and it will be interesting to see if I recognise anyone else in the upcoming episodes.

It's a very close game throughout, with the numbers unchallenging and the word advantage shifting back and forth.  Ryan takes a seven point lead into the conundrum, and when he buzzes in I think he has the round wrapped up.  But Ryan's guess is not correct and the extra time this gives his opponent may have proven decisive as Peter gets the answer with six seconds to go, winning his second game by 60 points to 57.

I was in decidedly mixed form today, dropping behind in the words twice and missing a longer option in a third round that I wish I had spotted.  The numbers offered no chance to catch up, and I went into the conundrum much like Ryan, ahead but by less than a winning margin.  Fortunately I managed to get the answer before either could buzz in, taking another nervous victory.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: F S G E A O D P R

I see FEGS in the first four letters (an interjection meaning "in faith" or "truly") but suspect it won't be allowable.  It's in the Chambers, but not the Macquarie, confirming my expectations.  In any case, one would hope for longer than four!  Continuing on, SAGE, OSAGE (with some doubt, and rightly so -- it's proper, being a native American tribe), DOSAGE, SPARED, GROPED... things really looked up when that R appeared, but try as I might I can't find the seven that I'm sure is there.  The FORE- beginning is no good, and FORDAGE seems dodgy (it is), so I'm forced back to a six.

Ryan is in a similar boat to me, but Peter and David both have sevens.  David's in particular was quite findable.

Two other sevens are worth noting here: DEFRAGS and FEDORAS, rivalling BEANIES as the show's most popular headwear.

Peter: FORAGED (FORAGES is also there, of course)

Scores: Peter 7, Ryan 0, me 0

Round 2: N L D S I E U R E

I'm still a bit "on tilt" after the previous round.  It looks like a useful mix, but I can't quite put it together.  DINS, LINED, SUNDER, LEISURE, INSURED, ENSURED, LEISURED.  I'm dubious about LEISURED, though -- the Macquarie is generally pretty reticent about forming adjectives from nouns by adding -ED.  So I stick with LEISURE, and hope that I won't regret it.  Later checking reveals that LEISURED would have been allowable.

In extra time I find SLENDER, and then go back to the UNDER- that I saw in SUNDER and find UNDERLIES.  That's one of the beginnings that are on my mental checklist, but I went down other paths and missed it.

This time Peter has the six and Ryan has a seven, so the scores are all locked up.  David was anticipating INSULATED after the first seven, and then when the R turned up instead of the T wanted a final E, and got it.  He finds the nine.


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 3: Target 939 from 100 50 9 3 8 1

Peter sticks with a safe "family mix", and no-one is challenged to find 939 = 9*100 + 50 - 3 - 8.

Peter: 939
Ryan: 939
Me: 939
Lily: 939

Scores: 17 apiece

First break: SALTY ACT ("A feline that makes things happen")

With CAT firmly in mind, it's a short step to CATALYST.

David's talk picks up on his introductory remarks about "www", and segues into talking about "dub", and its several meanings.

Round 4: F T C R I O A N M

If I'd lost the game, this would have been the round to blame.  RIFT, CROFT, FACTOR, FACTION, and then I go awry, missing the extension to FRACTION.  I wonder about CROFTMAN (invalid), but after seeing FORMICA (a trademark, but not capitalised, interestingly, so it is fair game) I decide to try a risky nine of FORMICANT.  Some online sources give a meaning for this as "crawling like an ant", but it's certainly not mainstream, and not valid, alas.

There's some comfort to be had in knowing that this didn't cost me points, since both contestants had eights to declare and my longest legitimate word was seven.  But I should have seen that eight.

Me: [invalid]

Scores: Peter 25, Ryan 25, me 17

Round 5: T S B E O I W D O

BETS / BEST, BESTOW, and then that final O gives me WOODIEST.  I also find BOOSTED and BODIES, but those don't improve over WOODIEST.  With neither contestant finding that, the scores are locked up again.  (Although without me, Ryan now has a seven point advantage over Peter.)


Scores: Peter 25, Ryan 25 (32), me 25

Round 6: Target 773 from 75 1 9 10 3 5

Ryan's first numbers, and I recall that we discussed numbers selection options at the audition.  Like me, he was disappointed at the frequent choice of four small / two large.  I believe I espoused the merits of one large at the time, and he might have liked the three-and-three mix.  In any case, here he chooses one large.

Unfortunately it's another easy target, and I find 773 = 75*10 + (3 - 1)*9 + 5.  Some more fiddling yields another solution: 773 = 75*10 + 3*9 - (5 - 1).  This latter turns out to be used by Peter, Ryan, and Lily.

Peter: 773
Ryan: 773
Me: 773
Lily: 773

Scores: Peter 35, Ryan 35 (42), me 35

Second break: NICHE POT ("I don't need to spell this one out")

Deciding to shift the H from the C to the P guided me to the right answer of PHONETIC.

Round 7: K T L U I A G C O

We're running out of rounds to get clear, and it's a troublesome mix.  I find GUILT and hope for the O which fortunately arrives to give AGOUTI.  I wonder about COGITAL (nope!) and find COITAL within it.

Both contestants have fives, and I have a tiny amount of breathing room.  A decent tough numbers and I could have a safe lead going into the conundrum, but I could just as easily drop behind.  This one is likely to go the distance.

David, of course, finds AGOUTI, but there was a seven here.  An anagram of COGITAL, in fact: OTALGIC.

Peter: LOGIC

Scores: Peter 35 (40), Ryan 35 (47), me 41

Round 8: Target 310 from 75 5 3 4 9 4

Ryan tries the same arrangement again, and the numbers look promising.  The target is sadly unchallenging, though, and everyone gets it.  I find 310 = 4*75 + 9 + 4 - 3, and also 310 = 5*(75 - 9 - 4).  Ryan uses my first approach, while Lily and Peter have the only slightly different 310 = 4*75 + 9 + 5 - 4.

Peter: 310
Ryan: 310
Me: 310
Lily: 310

Scores: Peter 45 (50), Ryan 45 (57), me 51


So it comes down to the conundrum, and although I'm ahead I've got a feeling I'll need to solve it.  I see a possible VISION in there, but can't extend it, nor get an -ISION ending to work.  I try -IST and have a solution 9 seconds in, much to my relief.

Ryan buzzes in with 15 seconds down on the clock, and I'm mentally cheering him on.  Alas, his attempt is invalid (it sounds like NOVELIST), and Peter gets the remaining time.  Plus any extra time due to production difficulties that can occur when the game's clock gets stopped and started again.  And that extra time might even have been crucial, as Peter gets the answer with just six seconds left -- so Ryan might possibly have won if he simply hadn't guessed.  That's got to sting.

Peter: VIOLINIST (24s)
Ryan: [invalid]

Final scores: Peter 45 (60), Ryan 45 (57), me 61

Both contestants had some good rounds, but Peter looked less effective on the letters than yesterday.  The numbers were unfortunately too easy this time, so we still don't know what he is like on those.  I admit to wishing that Ryan had won, due to the (admittedly limited) personal connection, but at least he had a good game.  Just one AGOUTI would have seen him home...

Decidedly mixed on my part here.  WOODIEST and LEISURED were good finds, but missing GRASPED and FRACTION hurt.  And I was close to seeing UNDERLIES in time but my mind headed elsewhere.  Getting the conundrum was good, but I know there are people who would have seen it much quicker.  Overall, this was a lucky win for me.

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

9*(100+1+3)=936 (3 off, missed easy way)
10*(75+5-3)+1=771 (2 off)
Lily's way