Monday, 21 November 2011

Ep 320: Daniel Chua, Kane Gross (November 18, 2011)

OK, the SBS website fixed their bad links and I finally got to play through Friday's episode.  Enjoy!

Rounds: Here.

Richard opens the contestant chat by asking what kind of magicians Daniel admires; Daniel responds that he likes magicians that don't try to outsmart the audience, but focus on entertainment, on keeping them happy and mystified.  I'm not entirely sure about the distinction being drawn here between outsmarted and mystified, but certainly magic should be first and foremost about entertainment.

Daniel's challenger today is Kane Gross, a creative arts student who has recently founded a new literary and arts journal with his wife.  It's currently online only, but they hope to move to a print version early next year.

Both contestants move in lockstep for the first five rounds, but then Kane fades and Daniel takes the remaining main rounds, ending up a 59 to 34 point victor.  The numbers were a bit friendlier this time, but Daniel was able to use them more effectively.  They both could have done more with the early letters rounds, but the latter ones (and the conundrum) were trickier than average.

I was mostly on target this game; I just missed out on one eight-letter word, and decided not to risk another, but aside from that I tracked well.  I had a tough time with the conundrum, but unravelled it with three seconds left to cap off a comfortable win.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: W R D H A O E T L

W isn't the most promising letter to start off the game with, but it has some potential.  I mostly ignored it, finding HARD, HOARD, OTHER, LATHER, and then a very familiar LEOTARD.  After time I found TRAWLED.

Daniel and Kane start off with six-letter words, and there's certainly several of them.  David notes that Daniel's WREATH is often used as a memorial for war, and is an anagram of THE WAR.  He has found the lovely seven of WHORLED.

Some other sevens are LOATHED, LOATHER, and TOWHEAD.  Some dictionaries have the plant LEADWORT, but it's not in the Macquarie so seven is the limit.

Daniel: WREATH

Scores: Daniel 0 (6), Kane 0 (6), me 7

Round 2: S I O C N E U D B

Here I had COINS / ICONS, COUSIN, BOUNCED, and BOUNCES.  I tried to make something out of the SUB- and CON- beginnings, but was not able to.  This had potential to be a fully monty round if that last consonant had been a T, giving SEDUCTION.  No such luck, however.

Not long after time runs out I spot BEDOUINS, a word that attracted some discussion on the website in one episode of series three.  The Macquarie entry is capitalised, but it does then allow a lowercase version.  Some sources suggest that the plural should also be BEDOUIN, but the Macquarie makes no such mention so it must be taken to be BEDOUINS.  A technical eight-pointer, but it's there.

Both contestants have sixes again, and I feel that they should have found BOUNCES or BOUNCED.  The -OUNCE fragment does crop up moderately often, and they were both close to it.

David finds a less controversial eight with ICEBOUND.  He notes BODICES as a seven, and I'll add CUBOIDS as another seven that interested me.

Daniel: BOUNDS

Scores: Daniel 0 (12), Kane 0 (12), me 14

Round 3: Target 435 from 100 25 3 1 4 7

Daniel notes that his attempt of six small last time was not good for him, so he goes back to the traditional option.  A mid-range target and a decent spread of smalls mean this should be possible.  I almost overcomplicate this, trying to do something with 7*75 - 100, but then find the straightforward 435 = 4*100 + 25 + 7 + 3.  So does everyone else, as it turns out, with Kane amusingly commenting that one of Daniel's magic tricks must be reading minds.

It's not that surprising, actually.  There's very few solutions to this; after time I found 435 = 4*(100 + 7 + 1) + 3, but it's clearly harder to find.

Daniel: 435
Kane: 435
Me: 435
Lily: 435

Scores: Daniel 10 (22), Kane 10 (22), me 24

First break: BIRCH CUE ("Angelic pen")

The "pen" is intended to clue the BIC of CHERUBIC.

David's talk is about phrases that use the word 'elephant'.

Round 4: A S R E I T M N O

A familiar mix; we had it back in round 2 of episode 312.  With the retsina in play eights abound, but there's not a nine in sight.  SEAR, RAISE, MERITS, MINARETS / RAIMENTS, ROMANISE, STOREMAN... so many eights, but I didn't write more down in time.  Follow that link to see them again.

Sevens for each contestant, and one would hope to do better from that mix.


Scores: Daniel 10 (29), Kane 10 (29), me 32

Round 5: T F C A I P H E N

After those relatively friendly rounds a tricky mix is served up, and even finding a six is difficult (the only one I've found after some searching is PECTIN).  I note the possible -ATIC ending early, and it comes in handy as I get FACT, PITCH, PATCH, and HEPATIC.

Both contestants have fives, with Daniel's a perhaps appropriate PANIC at the thought of having just five to declare.  They are still all locked up at five rounds in!

David found another six with HEPCAT, and the same seven that I did.  Some dictionaries list HAPTENIC (as the adjectival form of HAPTEN); the Macquarie has HAPTEN but not HAPTENIC, so no luck there.  My father suggested PANTHEIC, but that doesn't seem to be in any reliable word source.

Daniel: PANIC

Scores: Daniel 10 (34), Kane 10 (34), me 39

Round 6: Target 384 from 50 4 9 3 10 3

Kane goes for "a field trip in a minivan", being one large (adult) and five small (kids).  There is merriment at this.

The target is a familiar number, being 3*128 = 3*4*32, but my attempts to use that factorization did not work.  (Found just now: 384 = 3*4*(3*9 + 50/10); that would have been a good spot in time.)  Instead I go back to multiples-of-ten with 384 = 10*(50 - 9 - 3) + 4.  This is the solution that Lily uses also.  Found after time: 384 = 4*(9*10 + 3 + 3).

Kane has nothing to declare, while Daniel gets the points with 387 = 3*10*(9 + 4) - 3, and the contestants are finally separated.

Daniel: 387
Kane: [not in range]
Me: 384
Lily: 384

Scores: Daniel 10 (41), Kane 10 (34), me 49

Second break: FORD UPON ("Discovered deep meaning")

Not too hard to find PROFOUND in this mix.

Round 7: G A U E S R P L I

SAGE, GEARS, PAGERS, PLAGUES, and PLAGUERS.  I'm far from comfortable with that last one, though, so I decide to stick with seven.

Kane has a five, and Daniel decides to risk PLAGUERS.  He is rewarded for his courage as it is listed; David notes that a safer eight was an anagram of it: EARPLUGS.

Another eight in the mix is SPIRULAE.


Scores: Daniel 18 (49), Kane 10 (34), me 49

Round 8: Target 930 from 75 6 4 2 10 5

With Daniel 15 points ahead, Kane needs to score unanswered points in this round.  He sticks with his previous selection, and manages to get within five; his hopes are dashed, however, as Daniel is on the target and takes an unbeatable lead into the conundrum.

This is reasonably easy from the 75-times tables, although there's a few ways to get the 12.  I choose one way and a bit of tweaking: 930 = 6*(75*2 + 5).  After time I note that there's also 930 = (75 + 5*4 - 2)*10.

Kane declares 935; that's actually a little hard to make.  He must have subtracted the 5 from 940, which suggests that he used up the 6 in the 12, so he probably had 935 = 2*6*75 + 4*10 - 5.  A minor shuffle would have given him the answer 930 = 2*6*75 + 4*5 + 10 (not that it would help, with Daniel on target).

Daniel shows that the other way of getting 12 is a little simpler: 930 = (2 + 10)*75 + 5*6.  It was also Lily's approach.

Daniel: 930
Kane: 935
Me: 930
Lily: 930

Scores: Daniel 28 (59), Kane 10 (34), me 59


Down to the conundrum, and due to me not risking PLAGUERS I need the conundrum to break the 60 mark that is my informal target.  It's certainly not the easiest, and I mostly get nowhere, until I pull out SCOOP and combine it with the leftover HERO to get phonetically close.  With just three seconds left on the clock I make the adjustment and have the answer.

Neither contestant makes any headway on it; definitely one of the harder ones to spot.

Daniel: [no answer]
Kane: [no answer[

Final scores: Daniel 28 (59), Kane 10 (34), me 69

So Daniel comes home strong with 25 unanswered points after he and Kane were tied at the end of round five.  Kane needed to be better on the numbers, but even if he'd done them perfectly Daniel's choice of PLAGUERS would have seen him home, by a single point.  As is so often the case, this needed to be won in the letters but was losable on the numbers.

I'm content with my performance here.  I had perfect numbers rounds, and I saw the two eights that were the drawbacks to my letters rounds.  One I saw in time but didn't risk, and the other I saw a little after time expired.  I don't feel that I was out of the hunt, this time, in contrast to other games where I've simply not been close to the long words.  So that's nice.

The next several games will be hard to score properly, but I'll carry on anyway.  More about that in the remarks for Monday's game.

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

Straightforward way
9*(50-10+3)-3=384 different to the identified solutions but went over slightly
PLAGUERS (risked it!)
((5-2)*6+75)*10=930 (another different solution to those listed)