Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Ep 357: Kerin White, Richelle Patrick (January 10, 2012)

Rounds: Here.

Apparently Kerin slept poorly last night, in anticipation of these next games.  She tried reading a book to relax, but all these nine-letter words and prefixes and suffixes kept jumping out at her.  It wasn't relaxing at all!  (I can certainly relate to that; at my peak of involvement in the game, and still somewhat now, my mind was disassembling words like that all the time.  It's the Tetris effect in action.)

Tonight's challenger is Richelle Patrick, a personal trainer and receptionist.  A few years back (and possibly still now) she was involved in duathlons, both as an organiser and participant.  Richard remarks that we don't hear much about duathlons, and I agree; I was thinking it was another term for a biathlon, in fact, but the sports turn out to be different.  As Richelle explains, a duathlon is a bit like a triathlon but without a swim leg; it involves a run, a cycle, and another run -- she gives distances of 10km, 40km, and 5km respectively, but those may vary among duathlons.

Richelle starts off with an invalid word, and does poorly in the first numbers round.  Kerin extends her lead in the next letters round to be ahead by 24 points after four rounds.  That's hard to recover from, and while Richelle gets a little back she fails to take the opportunity presented in the last numbers round and Kerin is safe going into the conundrum.  Kerin solves it in the dying seconds to finish off a comprehensive victory, 65 to 38.

I kept track with David and Lily throughout, and while I was slow to solve the conundrum I got there at the fifteen second mark.  That's about as good as possible, really -- there was one longer word to be found as it turns out, but I'd not heard of it before and really the only blemish is the slowness of the conundrum solve.  A nice game tonight.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: K L D R O E I H M

I had LORD, OLDER, ROILED, HOLDER, and HEIRDOM.  The last is courtesy of having been in the audience the last time it came up; sometimes they do stay in the memory!  I noted the -LIKE ending but wasn't able to find any of the few items I know go with it; searching afterwards turns up RODLIKE as another valid seven.

Kerin has a six (there's a few) but Richelle has gone for the seven of HOMLIER.  That's HOMELIER missing an E, and not valid, so Kerin gets the points.  David has found HEIRDOM as expected.

Another potential seven here is MOLDIER, but the vagaries of the Macquarie and the show's rules would disallow it.  The problem is that MOLDY is listed as an acceptable alternative for MOULDY, but only MOULDIER (and MOULDIEST) are given.  Since the show's rules require that a comparative with a spelling shift must be explicitly listed, MOLDIER cannot get the points.  This is another case of the Macquarie failing to list inflected forms of its variant spellings in cases where they matter.

Richelle: [invalid]

Scores: Kerin 0 (6), Richelle 0, me 7

Round 2: C G N U I A B E S

The familiar -ING comes into play early, and while I hate that fourth vowel choice (and particularly so early), it turns out not to cost.  I had CUING, ACING, CASING, ABUSING, and CAUSING.  After time I wrote down a few more sevens I'd spotted while looking for an eight: SAUCING, CEASING, and GUINEAS.

It's sevens from both contestants, using -ING to it's full extent.  Excellent.  David is likewise limited to seven, and it seems that there just isn't an eight.  (The English language being what it is, it's probably only a matter of time until SCUBAING is valid, but it's not there yet.)

Another seven I'll note is CUBAGES; the Macquarie lists CUBAGE as synonymous with CUBATURE: "1. the determination of the cubic contents of a thing. 2. cubic contents".

Richelle: ABUSING

Scores: Kerin 7 (13), Richelle 7, me 14

Round 3: Target 226 from 75 50 2 5 1 4

A small target, and so close to a multiple of 25 that this is pretty easy.  I went with 226 = (5 - 2)*75 + 1, although there's several ways to get that 225 from the available numbers while keeping the 1.

Richelle has only 221, which is surprising; I'm hard put to come up with any way to get that which isn't easily improvable.  My best guess is 221 = 2*75 + 50 + 4*5 + 1.

Kerin has the target, with the same solution I used.  Lily has taken a slightly more scenic route with 226 = (5 + 4)*(75 - 50) + 1.

Kerin: 226
Richelle: 221
Me: 226
Lily: 226

Scores: Kerin 17 (23), Richelle 7, me 24

First break: RAFT RANG ("Angry outburst that is sweet-smelling")

The outburst is the RANT of FRAGRANT.

David's talk, continuing the cryptic tutorial, is about container clues.  He demonstrates the concept with 'swallow' being 'wall' inside 'sow', or 'ponies' being 'on' inside 'pies'.  He then provides a couple of examples of clues; the first is "Family member puts us in the money", where the answer is arrived at by putting 'us' inside 'coin' (the money) to get 'cousin' -- the family member.  The second is a little more difficult: "Empty container inside container".  In this case the containers are 'can' and 'vat', and the answer is 'vacant'.

David then presents Richard with the challenge of "Fighting between fish and chicken (6)".  Richard free associates a bit to find 'war' as the probable fight, but that is as far as he gets.  The intended completion is that the fish is 'cod', and the result is 'coward' (someone who might be called a chicken).

Round 4: T H F A E S N I R

The '"retsina mix" finally makes a reappearance -- it's been quite a while.  I couldn't remember the combination with H, but could for the F, and that was the best to be done.  I had HAFT, FEAST, HASTE, HASTEN, RETSINA, and FAINTERS.

Kerin has likewise found FAINTERS, outdoing Richelle who has RETAINS.  That puts Richelle 24 points behind, and in deep trouble.  David notes the H contribution to retsina also: HAIRNETS.

Richelle: RETAINS

Scores: Kerin 25 (31), Richelle 7, me 32

Round 5: F S T D E A U N R

That F is awkward again, but the rest are reasonable.  I had FASTED and UNRATED (which I was a little uncertain about, but thought was worth a try), then struggled in search of an eight that proved elusive.  After time I noted NATURES, which I was surer about than UNRATED.

Kerin has the six of DAUNTS, while Richelle has found NATURES and gets back some of that lost ground.  Richelle wasn't sure about NATURES, and David notes that an anagram of it is safer: SAUNTER.

I'll note that DAUNTERS is in the Chambers but not in the Macquarie, so Kerin wisely avoided that (assuming that she saw it).  There is an eight available, though: TRANSUDE, "to pass or ooze through pores or interstices, as a fluid".  I hope that I recall that if it ever arises again!

Richelle: NATURES

Scores: Kerin 25 (31), Richelle 14, me 39

Round 6: Target 108 from 75 100 10 4 8 9

Richelle also sticks with the family mix, and turns up an embarrassingly easy target.  It's no surprise that everyone finds 108 = 100 + 8.  I also noted 108 = 9*(8 + 4), but it really wasn't worth trying to come up with more complicated solutions.

Kerin: 108
Richelle: 108
Me: 108
Lily: 108

Scores: Kerin 35 (41), Richelle 24, me 49

Second break: AIM CHAIR ("Mexican wedding music")

It's straightforward to find MARIACHI from that clue.

Round 7: M T D P I E O R E

When those first four consonants went up I briefly thought of words that might use them all; IMPORTED was one of them, so that advance thinking made this a very easy round.  I had TIMED and IMPORTED, and while there's a great many sevens I couldn't match or better it in the remaining time.

It's a couple of good sevens from the contestants, with David finding the eight.

Richelle: EMPTIED

Scores: Kerin 35 (48), Richelle 24 (31), me 57

Round 8: Target 652 from 25 75 3 8 9 6

Richard says that the last round was far too easy, and tries to convince Richelle to choose a more difficult mix.  Richelle says, "Why would I differ?  It was so easy."  That is... astoundingly poor strategy; Richelle is 17 points behind at the moment and absolutely must outdo Kerin in this round to have a chance.  An easy target merely guarantees that Richelle will lose.

Now, she may well be weak on the numbers and a hard target is no good for her either.  Fair enough, in that case; she'll have to hope for a target of medium difficulty and that Kerin stumbles.  But the stated reasoning was terrible.  (Under the assumption that she was hoping to win; it's entirely possible that she was expecting to lose the game at this point and simply wanted to do well.  Again, fair enough if that was her goal.)

As it turns out, the target does require a small amount of finesse, and Kerin does falter to get one away... but Richelle is likewise only one away, and that is the game to Kerin.

I went with the standard policy, and found 652 = 9*75 - 25 + 6/3.  (The final offset by two could also have been done with 8 - 6.)  Somewhat later I found 652 = 8*75 + 25 + 3*9.

Kerin's result was 651 = 8*75 + 9*6 - 3, while Richelle's was 651 = (25 + 75 + 8)*6 + 3.

Lily has found another solution with 652 = 9*75 + 25 - 6*8.

Kerin: 651
Richelle: 651
Me: 652
Lily: 652

Scores: Kerin 35 (55), Richelle 24 (38), me 67


I flailed around a lot before settling on the right ending.  That was a bit poor, but I eventually had the answer just before the 15 second mark.  Both contestants looked like they would be beaten by it, but with just three seconds left Kerin found the answer.

Kerin: DIRECTIVE (27s)
Richelle: [no answer]

Scores: Kerin 35 (65), Richelle 24 (38), me 77

Kerin was a deserved winner in this game, but certainly gave Richelle some chances.  There were some good words played by both contestants -- I particularly liked the last letters rounds -- which is always nice to see.  Kerin's total of 285 is already greater than third-placed Shaun Ellis, and she will move to either second or fourth place in the rankings according to whether she wins or loses her final game tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out!

It's always a good game when I match the David and Lily combination, although I should have been faster on the conundrum.  There's not really anything left to add.


Sam Gaffney said...

My guess is that David would allow MOLDIER, as MOULDIER is listed in the Macquarie, along with MOLDY given as an alternate spelling of MOULDY. You are correct though Geoff, it is not listed on its own in bold. I would probably still take my chances and declare it in a real game if it came up. My answers:

226 = (2+1) x 75 + 5-4
108 = 100+8
652 = 9*75 - 50 + 6/3

Geoff Bailey said...

Ooh, I like STRAFED. And I agree that MOLDIER should be allowed in principle, but it may be a case where having objective criteria (inflected forms with spelling shifts must be listed) is more desirable than the occasional instance like this giving an undesirable result.

Looks like I got the conundrum just in time. *chuckles*