Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ep 317: Peter Crop, David Bradley (November 15, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Tonight we find out that Peter is a keen traveller, too, although perhaps not quite as keen as Colin.  He'd like to go cycling through the countries of Europe, particularly the flatter ones.  Heh.  He mentions the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, and parts of Germany and France.

Going up against him is property developer David Bradley, who is also a long-distance runner.  Like Peter, he'd prefer flatter terrain.  David is in training for an Iron Man race, and it certainly sounds like it would take considerable training: A 3.8 kilometre swim, followed by a 180 km bike ride, and to cap it off a 42.2 kilometre marathon.  Ouch!

Neither contestant is particularly convincing on the letters, with fours, fives, or sixes that should have been longer.  David manages to outdo Peter in the numbers to make up for lost ground on the letters, but it's still anyone's game going into the conundrum.  It's a tough one tonight, and nobody gets it, so David unseats Peter with a score of 40 points to 31.

I was similarly unconvincing on the letters, failing to outright win any letters round despite some familiar words in the mix, with a particularly poor oversight in round 4.  Solid numbers rounds saw me comfortably home, however, and despite not solving the conundrum I notched up another score in the 60's.  I perhaps eased up a bit too early, as I missed the best chance I've had at a nine yet -- I was writing it down as time ran out.  So close!

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: P G D I O E M T H

An ill-fitting mix to start off with, although I recall wishing that the I had been an A for APOTHEGM.  I didn't see anything satisfactory before the final letter was called, and only had METHOD and MIDGET within the time limit.  Searching in extra time let me add PITHED to that list, but I couldn't get to seven.

Peter only has a four, which is surprising and he looks a little embarassed about that, while David (henceforth David B to distinguish him from David Astle) has a six.  But David A has found a seven, and it's one that I've found in older games, so I'm a bit disappointed at missing it now: HOGTIED.

There's another seven in this mix, which I've seen on Countdown: ETHMOID.  It's both an adjective (relating to a particular bone in the nose) and a noun (that bone), so it is pluralisable if that option comes up in the future.

Peter: MOTH

Scores: Peter 0, David B 6, me 6

Round 2: F D T A L U E R O

Déjà vu kicks in as the letters are called, bringing back the FAULTED / DEFAULT combination.  David A later notes this, as he earlier noted the repeats of MIDGET and HOGTIED (from the finals of series three).

I found DAFT, FAULT, FAULTED / DEFAULT, LEOTARD, ROULADE.  Couldn't get it to eight -- after time I wondered about FLUORATE, but it's not in the dictionary.  Some other sevens are FLOUTED, FLOATED, and READOUT.  David A has found the eight, though -- an excellent spot.

David B: TRADE

Scores: Peter 7, David B 6, me 13

Round 3: Target 257 from 50 25 8 3 1 9

Peter sticks with the traditional option, and a low target isn't too difficult but does need some care with getting the final adjustment of 7.  I find 257 = 8*25 + 50 + 9 + 1 - 3, and in extra time I find the alternative 257 = 9*25 + 8*(3 + 1).

David B and Lily both have that first solution; Peter declares 258, so presumably he fell into the trap of 258 = 25*(1 + 9) + 8, where without that one free it is very hard to make the required seven.

Another solution that occurs to me, using an offset of 18 instead of 7: 257 = 9*(25 - (3 - 1)) + 50.

Peter: 258
David B: 257
Me: 257
Lily: 257

Scores: Peter 7, David B 16, me 23

First break: PUPA SEAL ("Short application indicating approval")

First time in a while that I've solved the word mix before hearing the clue.  Appropriately enough for the fade-to-ad-break, it is APPLAUSE.

David A's talk is based on LURGIES from an earlier show, which he explains originated on the Goon Show (due to Spike Milligan) back on November 9, 1954.  He also mentions another phrase with similar comedic show origins: "Sick as a parrot", deriving from the Monty Python dead parrot sketch.

Round 4: N C M E A H L I O

This is the round I'm particularly disappointed in.  What I actually found in time was NAME / MEAN (noting the possible -ANCE ending), MALICE, MENIAL.  I noted both possible MAN and HOLE fragments, but somehow overlooked MANHOLE.  More vexingly, I saw the MECHAN- beginning, which reminded me of a series 3 episode where MECHANISE was available.  Yet when the I turned up I failed to see MACHINE, which I'd noted in that same game.

After time I found MANIOC, CINEMA, MACHINE, and ENCOMIA -- another repeat from an earlier mix, that again I should have recalled.

David A turns up an eight with COALMINE, which may not seem like it should be a single word but it is.  There's another eight here, too: INCHMEAL, meaning "by inches".  It's like 'piecemeal' but more precise, I guess.

For those who like to re-use letters, MECHANICAL and MELANCHOLIC are worth noting.

David B: CHAIN

Scores: Peter 13, David B 16, me 29

Round 5: G N D A O I R S V

I had GONAD, DOING, SOARING, DROVING; after time I add DRAGONS and VIRAGOS.  Despite previous comments I've made about only wanting three vowels when -ING hits the board, the first eight here were a clear exception, with the possibility of a triple full monty that we've had many times before: Change that V to an E and we get ORGANISED / GRANDIOSE / ORGANDIES.  I noted that at the time, and it's no surprise that David A laments the choice of a consonant at the end.

Peter fails to use the -ING fragment, and gives back some ground he regained with MENIAL.  Both Davids use the -ING for seven like I did, but there is a valid eight here.  It's an American spelling: SAVORING.  Some other familiar sevens here: RAVINGS, ADVISOR, ORDAINS / INROADS.


Scores: Peter 13, David B 23, me 36

Round 6: Target 685 from 75 100 4 6 8 5

I almost miss the obvious, as I want to get fifteen (for an offset from 700) and I momentarily fixate on 15 = 3*5.  Fortunately good sense reasserts itself as I find 685 = 8*75 + 100 - 4 - 6 - 5.  Simple, but effective.  Aiming to get to it from below, in extra time I also find 685 = 6*100 + 75 + 5*8/4.

Peter declares 683 -- I'm guessing that was 683 = 6*100 + 75 + 8 -- but is pipped by David B's 684 = 6*100 + 75 + 5 + 4.  Lily is on target, with the second of the solutions above.

Just now I also found 685 = 5*(100 + 75 - 4*8 - 6)

Peter: 683
David B: 684
Me: 685
Lily: 685

Scores: Peter 13, David B 23 (30), me 46

Second break: PRINT ERA ("A rampaging reptile")

The "rampaging" -> "terror" -> "terra" connection is pretty tenuous, but the reptile part leads easily to TERRAPIN.

Round 7: E D N R N A E T I

There's considerable talk about how Peter is going to be in trouble if the first vowel turns out to be an E (thereby having denied David A the full monty in round 5).  Peter gets it out of the way early, and there is much groaning from the presenters.

It's a friendly mix, though, and I find NERD, EARNED / NEARED, TRANNIE, DETAINER / RETAINED, and then TRAINED leading to ENTRAINED.  I get three letters down for that and then time runs out.  It's the closest I've come this series to getting a full monty, and under Countdown rules (answers don't have to be written down) I could have claimed it... which would be more useful if this were Countdown rather than Letters and Numbers.

Peter finds one of those eights to get back within range of David B, who very surprisingly only has a five here.  TRAINED is one of those combinations that shows up a lot in this game, and although I spotted it late it should still be found.

David A pretends to still be vexed at Peter, but all is forgiven as he has found the nine.

David B: RATED

Scores: Peter 21, David B 23 (30), me 54

Round 8: Target 672 from 50 75 9 7 2 4

Missing that full monty didn't cost me, and I'm uncatchable now.  David B sticks with the safe option, and produces an easy target.  Everyone easily finds 672 = 9*75 - (7 - 4).

I'll note another option, though (found just now): 672 = 7*(2*50 - 4).

Peter: 672
David B: 672
Me: 672
Lily: 672

Scores: Peter 31, David B 33 (40), me 64


It's a tough conundrum this time, and with David B only 9 points ahead of Peter they're probably both a bit nervous.  I see an interesting seven in there (PLANTAR -- relating to the sole of the foot), but nothing that looks close to being a solution.  With nothing to lose, though, I buzz in at the 24 second mark with UNPARTIAL.  Unsurprisingly it is not correct, and despite much more thinking time afterwards I'm not able to find the correct answer, which was TARPAULIN.

Peter: [no answer]
Davd B: [no answer]
Me: [invalid]

Final scores: Peter 31, David B 33 (40), me 64

Rather scattered performance from all of us on the letters this game.  The two contestants declared different lengths on each such round, which feels very unusual, at least when it went back and forth like it did.  But Peter was unable to capitalise on his advantage there as David B comfortably came out ahead in the numbers; still, it was anyone's game going into the final round.  It would have been interesting to see what would have happened with a more gettable conundrum

Aside from not finding one of the well-known sevens in round 4, this was an adequate game for me.  Could have been better -- I would have liked to have seen HOGTIED, and to have gotten ENTRAINED in time -- but I didn't feel as out of the hunt as I have in recent games.  This was a nice relaxing win for a pleasant change of pace.


Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff's way
COALMEN (I see COALMAN is allowed, does this plural count?)
Geoff's extra solution
TRAINED (sadly wasn't confident with ENTRAINED)
Easy way

Geoff Bailey said...

Yes, COALMEN is listed -- well done!