Monday, 28 November 2011

Ep 326: Geoff Bailey, Tim Clay (November 28, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I was a contestant on this episode.  Obviously there are some parts I will remember strongly and my scoreline cannot remotely be considered a fair representation.  I'll frequently refer to my past self in the third person, to avoid having to clarify all the time whether I mean my current or past performance.

On my second night it is revealed that I represented Australia in the 1988 IMO, in the bicentennial year when Canberra hosted it.  I got involved in that through high school maths classes and an enrichment program that seeks out mathematically-talented students and helps them develop their potential.  At the IMO I ended up with a bronze medal, corresponding to a position of equal 82nd out of 252 students.

Tonight's challenger is Tim Clay, a doctor of oncology at St Vincent's Hospital.  He finds it a very rewarding specialty where you get to help a lot of people; he notes that patients who are meeting with an oncology doctor are often very fearful and need a lot of help and reassurance.  Richard exposits for our benefit that oncology is cancer-related; Tim confirms this, and adds that he has recently been working in chemotherapy.

Tim was, I think, the most outgoing of the contestants on this day of filming.  He certainly brought some entertainment to the process of describing his answers, and I perhaps lifted a little in response.

The contestants start equally (both missing a quite findable nine), and then Geoff pulls away in the next three rounds.  Tim isn't able to make any inroads after that, and despite a decent conundrum solution ends up the loser as Geoff takes it 64 to 51.

This time around I remember the nine, and I'll take it anyway... just as well, as I had a mental lapse in a later letters round and couldn't find anything useful.  So I'd probably have done worse than I did back then, of all things.  Either I'm losing my edge, or I'm having trouble maintaining focus on episodes I've seen before.  Possibly a bit of both... I was particularly finely honed around the start of this blog, and I'm a bit less focussed now.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: T H G E O S F I R

This one was definitely in the memory -- the chance at a nine made it stand out.  So although this time I got GHOST, FIGHTS, FRIGHTS, FIGHTERS, FREIGHTS, and FORESIGHT, I'm on dubious ground claiming that last.

At the time, I know that I had FREIGHTS and FIGHTERS, and had considered using the -IGHT fragment for EIGHT, FIGHT, and RIGHT... but had not continued on to SIGHT.  So close!

Tim declares a "punchy" eight, making it clear what his answer is, and Geoff matches it (it turns out that each contestant had both FREIGHTS and FIGHTERS written down).

David points out that GIFT-HORSE is there, but hyphenated, so he has to go with FORESIGHT instead.  A full monty to start the week off!  It was nice to have selected the letters that broke the drought.


Scores: Geoff 0 (8), Tim 0 (8), me 18

Round 2: W N S A U C D O I

It's an ill-fitting set of letters, and that final I didn't really help.  (Choosing a consonant instead would have allowed the seven of ABOUNDS.)  I feel that I should be able to make more out of those four vowels and this mix, but all I can find in time is SWAN, WOUNDS, CASINO (more memory, I think).  After time I add COUSIN to the mix.

Time declares a "blowy" five, and Geoff responds in kind with a "gambling" six.  David is amused that he knows what the contestants' words are from their descriptions, but can't beat six.

There is a somewhat obscure seven here, though: Add that A into COUSIN to get ACINOUS. "Consisting of acini" is the helpful definition; "acini" is the plural of ACINUS, so that was another six to be found.


Scores: Geoff 6 (14), Tim 0 (8), me 24

Round 3: Target 844 from 100 1 8 2 10 9

Richard calls Geoff a "wild man" for his number choices last time; Geoff responds by choosing a different option yet again, with a single large number.  The target is quite reachable, even though the small numbers are not as nicely spread as they could have been.  I find 844 = 8*100 + 9*10/2 - 1 and 844 = 9*100 - 8*(10 - 2 - 1) within time.

Tim declares 839 -- perhaps 839 = 8*100 + (1 + 2)*10 + 9 -- but Geoff has 844 with the first of those solutions, while Lily used the second.

Geoff: 844
Tim: 839
Me: 844
Lily: 844

Scores: Geoff 16 (24), Tim 0 (8), me 34

First break: AIM FRAIL ("Well acquainted untruths")

As we saw with 'peculiar' in an earlier break, the LIAR part of FAMILIAR is being clued.

David's talk is about onomatopoeia, sparked by him overhearing a conversational fragment of "to plip the car", meaning to use on of those hand-held remote lockers/unlockers.  (But not relockers...)

Round 4: E B C T E I A N D

That B isn't the best-fitting letter, but it does end up being used.  I find BEET, ANTIC, CABINET, and discard CABINETED and ANTICEDE (I was thinking of ANTECEDE).

Tim has a six that "he hopes he's not like this at the end of the night": BEATEN.  Geoff has the "safe seven" of CABINET, which prompts David to ask if Geoff was pondering CABINETED.  He was, and it was invalid, so well avoided all round.

Another seven in this mix is a chemical compound: BETAINE.


Scores: Geoff 23 (31), Tim 0 (8), me 41

Round 5: P O U E S L R H S

Oh, dear.  I went to pieces on this mix -- just couldn't get anything to work and in the end only had a five written down.  I found POSE, and LOUSE, and toyed with HOURLESS and SOUPERS (both rejected, although I could hardly have done worse by trying them).  After time I find some of the many sixes: HOUSES, SHORES, PURSES, and after several minutes finally the seven of PUSHERS.

Geoff looks like he is considering something longer, but both contestants declare sixes -- so I've managed to actually do worse than my previous self, which should say something about my memory for these rounds -- and David has spotted a seven of POSEURS, and a more obscure eight of SPORULES.

There's several other sevens, the more findable being PLUSHES, PLUSHER, and LEPROUS, including a word that got a mention before on this blog (although in the singular): UPHROES.


Scores: Geoff 29 (37), Tim 6 (14), me 41

Round 6: Target 248 from 25 100 2 5 10 4

Tim goes with the usual family mix, and everyone has an easy time of it.  Within time, my first effort was 248 = 2*(100 + 25 - (5 - 4)), then I saw that the 250 was easier to get to: 248 = 25*10 - 2, and finished with a variant on the first: 248 = 2*(100 + 25) - 10/5.  After time I experimented with the factor of four and found 248 = 4*(100 - 25 - 10 - 5 + 2).

Tim and Geoff both go with the simpler second solution, while Lily uses the first.  It's clear that we think a little similarly in some ways.

Geoff: 248
Tim: 248
Me: 248
Lily: 248

Scores: Geoff 39 (47), Tim 16 (24), me 51

Second break: BEAD COOL ("Taxi crossed with a woolly dog")

A cab/poodle cross would be a CABOODLE.

Round 7: R T D A I O B M E

Some familiar combinations here, leading to some sevens we've seen a lot.  I found DART, RADIO, RATIO (should have seen ADROIT, but did not), then once the E came down ABORTED / BORATED, ORBITED, and TRIBADE.  After time I manage to see the eight that has been nagging at me: MEDIATOR.

Tim declares a risky seven of BORATED, and Geoff goes for the anagram of it.  David confirms the validity of BORATED (which is how I've known it throughout this blog, incidentally).  He also is on-target with finding that eight.

There's another eight in this mix, incidentally: AMBEROID.


Scores: Geoff 46 (54), Tim 23 (31), me 58

Round 8: Target 376 from 50 75 2 10 9 9

Another family mix from Tim; the large numbers are the most awkward combination, and the smalls are not well-spread, but the target is very friendly and easily achievably.  I found 376 = 9*50 - 75 + (10 - 9), and then 376 = 75*10/2 + 9/9.

Both contestants declare 376; Tim uses the first version, while Geoff says his is "slightly different" and gives the second one.  It might perhaps have been more accurate to omit the "slightly" from that statement!  Lily also uses that solution.

Geoff: 376
Tim: 376
Me: 376
Lily: 376

Scores: Geoff 56 (64), Tim 33 (41), me 68


As soon as the mix goes down I find the answer.  That's clearly memory at work, although I hadn't recalled what the conundrum was until that point, so I won't allow it.  Tim finds the answer in a pretty quick six seconds; my recollection is that at the time I'd just about put it together but wasn't there yet -- probaly more like eight or nine seconds would have been my time.

Geoff: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Final scores: Geoff 56 (64), Tim 43 (51), me 68

It was a shaky start for Tim, falling behind in rounds two, three, and four; he recovered thereafter, but only enough to match, not to beat.  There were longer words to be found, so he had a chance -- if he'd found a seven in round 5 the scores would have been equal after his conundrum solution.

For my part, I've apparently gotten slightly worse, given my collapse in round 5.  It's only the memory-guided nine of FORESIGHT that stops me having to concede a loss to my former self.  Oh, dear...

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff, well done performing so well under pressure.

8*(100+9-2)-10-1=845 (1 off)
ENACTED (I like this one)
easy way
TIMBER (went over)
Geoff's way