Friday, 9 December 2011

Ep 334: Toby Baldwin, Yasmin Khan (December 8, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Richard notes that we've had themes for the last two nights -- music two nights ago, and food last night.  He asks Toby if there will be another theme tonight, and if he would care to nominate one.  Toby refers to the quote about music being the food of love, so suggests that maybe love would be a suitable theme to follow those two.  I'll say right now that David tries his best to make it work (with some success, admittedly) but it's mostly a stretch and I won't highlight it further.

Challenging Toby tonight is Yasmin Khan, a consultant and festival organiser.  In fact, she's president of the organising committee of Eidfest, which is a festival for the Brisbane Muslim community to celebrate the end of Ramadan.  She remarks that what they want to do in the festival is to highlight the diversity of the Muslim community; in particular, she says that "people always think that to be Muslim you have to be Arab, and to be Arab you have to Muslim, and we just want to dispel some of those myths".

It feels like the game should have been a bit closer than it was; both contestants find six- or seven-letter words consistently (which is the first time since Toby's first episode that six has been the minimum), but Toby has the better of it.  Neither contestant is particularly convincing on the numbers tonight, but again Toby does slightly better and has a safe lead going into the conundrum.  With neither solving it, he ends up winning with 48 points to 29.

I feel off my game tonight, with far too many sixes and missing the target on one of the numbers rounds.  But I only drop one letters round as opposed to yesterday's pair, and solving the conundrum puts me past the 60 mark again.  Definitely some improvement needed; hopefully I'll be able to find it tomorrow.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: L R S P I E O W E

I found SLIP, PERILS, and SPOILER.  I did wonder about PLOWERS, but we hit one of the features of the Macquarie on that one -- it lists PLOW as a variant of PLOUGH, and it lists PLOUGHER, but it does not list PLOWER.  In general, the Macquarie does not do as good a job as they should on listing derived forms of alternate spellings.  More on this in the next round...

Toby continues his excessive fondness for vowels; that next consonant would have been an R, allowing PROWLERS.

Yasmin: PLIERS

Scores: Toby 7, Yasmin 0, me 7

Round 2: R M L A I O T N I

A mix where I agree with the choice of that last vowel, with RELATION or RATIONAL easy finds on an E or A.  But I struggle on this mix, finding only MARL (both a noun and a verb, which I'll hopefully remember if MARLING is ever available), LAIR, MOLAR, and RATION.

There's a fair few sixes here -- both contestants also have six -- but David has remained unstirred as he makes the excellent find of MARTINI.

In the entry for AMORETTO, The Macquarie lists AMORINO as an alternative for sense one ("a little cupid"), but fails to list its irregular plural of AMORINI.  That's rather poor, I'm afraid (I'll note that my Chambers gets this right); irregular plurals should be listed.  There's worse instances in there, mind you -- as I hinted obliquely in round one of episode 313, the word 'lorry' is one such.  The Macquarie only provides a redirection from 'lorry' to 'truck', with no mention of the spelling shift in the plural.  By the show's rules, that makes 'lorries' an invalid word.  I guess it's a blessing that Toby didn't call for a final consonant last round after all, avoiding this issue.

So MARTINI seems to be the only seven, but there is an obscure (at least to me) eight here: MIRLITON, which the Macquarie redirects to 'kazoo'.  (Wikipedia suggests that a kazoo is a type of mirliton, so that is perhaps not quite accurate.)  That can be my new word learned for the day.

What isn't obscure, however is the nine-letter word: TRINOMIAL (a mathematical concept for an expression with three terms).  In fact just recently I was working with trinomials... bother.

Yasmin: TAILOR

Scores: Toby 13, Yasmin 6, me 13

Round 3: Target 664 from 25 75 50 1 7 5

Toby continues with the balanced mix again, and I make heavy weather of it.  I first consider 9*75 = 675, but the nine isn't easy (7 + 50/25) and that approach seems limited to two away.  I shifted to 13*50 = 650, but that used up all the smalls to get the 13.  A modification of it worked a bit better, for one away with 663 = (5 + 7)*(50 - 1) + 75.

I'd spent far too long chasing after less useful lines, though, so when I saw a solution in the last seconds I did not have enough time to write it down.  If only I hadn't written down the 663, I might have had that time.  The solution that I saw -- and that Lily demonstrates later -- is 664 = 7*(75 + 25 - 5) - 1.

Toby is six away with 670, while Yasmin is seven away with 657.  I'm guessing Yasmin's was 657 = (5 + 1)*(75 + 25) + 50 + 7; Toby's answer was 670 = (75 - 7 - 1)*50/5.

Toby: 670
Yasmin: 657
Me: 663
Lily: 664

Scores: Toby 13 (18), Yasmin 6, me 20

First break: CANE TERN ("This is the way to bewitch")

Both "way" and "bewitch" are cluing different meanings (and pronunciations!) of ENTRANCE.

David's talk is about two words related to authenticity: 'genuine', and the very Australian 'dinkum'.  The supposed origin of 'genuine' from the Latin for 'knee' is an interesting one, but I gather that it is not universally agreed upon.

Round 4: B D S U E I T K C

I found BUDS, DUES, BUSTED, and BUCKETS; after time I also found DUCKIES.

Toby has stayed with a six-letter word (maybe the lack of a fourth vowel hampered him), but Yasmin has the very risky STICKED.  She's not sure about it, but buried in the entries for the 'branch' meaning of STICK is a verb sense of "to furnish with a stick or sticks in order to support or prop, as a plant", and this has an explicitly-listed past tense of STICKED.  An unlikely find, but a welcome one for her.  She gets back within five of Toby.

A couple of less risky sevens here are SUBEDIT and SICKBED.


Scores: Toby 13 (18), Yasmin 13, me 27

Round 5: T P T R A E I B E

I wimped out on this one, which I regret.  I had PART / TRAP, PATTER, BATTIER, REPEAT, and PIRATE.  I wasn't sure that BATTIER would be there, however (it is), so I stayed with a six.  A sure way to regrets!

Some other sevens to be found are PETTIER and ITERATE.

Yasmin: BATTER

Scores: Toby 19 (24), Yasmin 19, me 33

Round 6: Target 341 from 75 9 5 8 6 3

Yasmin goes for the classroom mix, and it's a well-spread set; most targets should be achievable from those numbers.  I found 341 = 5*(75 - 9) + 8 + 3, then tried to find a way to form it as 31*11 but without success.

Yasmin is four away with 345, but Toby is closer still with 342 = 5*75 - (3*9 + 6).

Lily tweaked the five in a different way from me, getting 341 = 5*(75 - 6) - 3 - (9 - 8).  But simpler than both was a third approach: 341 = 5*(75 - 8) + 6.

A somewhat more unlikely approach to find is 341 = 8*(9*6 - (5 - 3)) - 75.

Toby: 342
Yasmin: 345
Me: 341
Lily: 341

Scores: Toby 19 (31), Yasmin 19, me 43

Second break: MINI DRAG ("Gaze adoringly at jewellery")

The jewellery referred to is the RING of ADMIRING.

Round 7: S R C N A E U H A

Gah, I just could not get anywhere with this.  I had CANS, NEARS, and CHASER / SEARCH / ARCHES.  I made no further progress on that, even after time only adding SAUCER to the mix.

Yasmin has six as well, but Toby has found the seven of RANCHES.  David has gone one better again, though, finding RAUNCHES.  (From the verb RAUNCH, to embrace in a sexually provocative way; David coyly omits the 'sexually' when he defines it.)

Another nice seven to be found here is CAESURA, a mid-line pause in poetry.

Yasmin: SEARCH

Scores: Toby 26 (38), Yasmin 19, me 43

Round 8: Target 616 from 100 3 5 8 2 2

Yasmin is 19 behind, so she needs to get the answer and for Toby not to, if she is to have a chance of winning.  But the target is too easy, with everyone having variants of 616 = 2*3*100 + 2*8.  Toby and Lily used that method, while I saved a number with 616 = 2*(3*100 + 8).  Yasmin went slightly differently with 616 = (5 - 2 + 3)*100 + 2*8.

Toby: 616
Yasmin: 616
Me: 616
Lily: 616

Scores: Toby 36 (48), Yasmin 29, me 53


That F is a bit ill-fitting, and worth concentrating on.  I tried FUNIC- as a fragment, but nothing came of it; I didn't even notice -IFUL as a possible ending, which was fortunate as it turns out.  Switching tacks, I decided that a -NCE ending was likely, and ended up with the answer around 9 seconds in.

Neither contestant finds it, so the score does not change.

Toby: [no answer]
Yasmin: [no answer]

Final scores: Toby 36 (48), Yasmin 29, me 63

Toby generally outdid Yasmin in this game, but it was the numbers that let her down more than the letters, I feel.  There was definitely enough leeway in them to take the win if she'd been able to find those answers.  Toby must be relieved to have avoided those invalid solutions that have plagued him in recent games, and will no doubt be hoping to repeat that performance tomorrow in what will be his last game before the finals series.

I'm not happy with my performance today, with some missed sevens and that numbers round where I saw the answer too late to write down in time.  If only I'd seen TRINOMIAL; that could have been the triumph that redeemed it all...

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

(7+1)*75+50+25-5=670 (6 off)
'third' approach
SHARE and just after RANCHES
Lily's way