Thursday, 23 February 2012

Ep 388: Christopher Piggott-McKellar, Katie Richer (February 22, 2012)

Rounds: Here.

Richard notes the colourful outfits that Christopher has been wearing so far, and asks him whether he takes his stylish look seriously.  Christopher demurs with good humour, saying that it shouldn't be taken seriously but he certainly enjoys wearing it.

Tonight's challenger is Katie Richer, a writer and proofreader.  In particular, she proofreads mathematics textbooks, and has done so for a couple of years now.  In addition to the proofreading, she does worked solutions and checks other people's worked solutions (although I'd class the latter as part of mathematical proofreading, myself).

It's almost a reversal of recent games, with Katie having consistent letters results of six (capped off by a lovely final seven-letter word) while Christopher varies from five to an unluckily invalid eight.  The numbers aren't able to provide much traction to either contestant -- they were a pretty tricky set -- and with Christopher's final answer being invalid Katie is safe going into the conundrum.  Christopher solves it quickly to move the scoreline into "might-have-been" territory, but Katie has the win, 39 to 30.

I felt in worse form than I probably was, but did miss a seven that I should have seen and the final numbers solution.  The latter was a particularly careless oversight.  Still, it was enough for a solid win in the circumstances.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: R D S R C O I A E

I had CORDS, DISCO, RADIOS, SCARRED, CARRIES, CARRIED, and RECORDS.  After time I added CODEIAS (variant spelling of CODEINES); I mentioned this word back in episode 343.

Katie has SCORED for six (which will be a mini-theme of the night), but Christopher has CARRIED for seven.  David has found CORRIDAS (plural of CORRIDA: "a bullfighting event") for eight.

The other eight here is IDOCRASE (a mineral, also known as vesuvianite).

Christopher: CARRIED

Scores: Christopher 7, Katie 0, me 7

Round 2: M B R D A E I T U

As the letters went up I was thinking of AMBEROID, and the vowels nearly produced it.  Just needed that U to be an O... bother.  Instead, I had BARD, DREAM, TRIBADE, and MURIATE.  After time I added READMIT and TERBIUM; I had seen -IUM within time for once, but I was looking for eights at that point.

Katie has six again, with TIMBER, while Christopher has gone for MURIATED.  He has my sympathies on this; I looked at this word back in episode 362 and so I already know that David is going to rule it invalid.  David notes MATURED while he is looking it up, and then confirms that MURIATE is only listed as a noun in the Macquarie.  That's a very unfortunate result for Christopher.

David has found DRUMBEAT for eight.  Great find!  The other eight is IMBRUTED (IMBRUTE: "to degrade to the level of a brute").

Other sevens here are IMBRUTE, IMBRUED (IMBRUE: "to stain with blood"), and BRUITED.

Christopher: [invalid]

Scores: Christopher 7, Katie 0 (6), me 14

Round 3: Target 206 from 8 1 9 6 4 4

Christopher changes things up with six small, and produces a relatively low target that should be somewhat approachable.  I found 206 = (4 - 1)*8*9 - 6 - 4, but afterwards found what feels like a slightly nicer variant: 206 = 6*(4*9 - 1) - 4.

Christopher thought he had a solution while writing things down -- it looks like he stopped with ten seconds to go and then a few seconds later checking revealed a problem.  He says that he made "a big oopsie", and has nothing to declare.  Katie was not able to get in range, either.

Lily demonstrates a different solution: 206 = (4*4 + 9)*8 + 6.

Christopher: [no answer]
Katie: [not in range]
Me: 206
Lily: 206

Scores: Christopher 7, Katie 0 (6), me 24

First break: MEAT SLAB ("Scold while moistening the roast")


David's talk is about words in the dictionary that are derived from character names in the works of Charles Dickens: scrooge, Micawber, gamp, and Pecksniffian.

Round 4: N L T E C A O I R

Familiar and compatible letters; I had LENT, LEANT, ETALON, ACTION, RELATION / ORIENTAL, CREATION / REACTION, and CONTRAIL.  After time I added LORICATE, but I could not find a nine.

It's sixes from both contestants, with Christopher having CLIENT to Katie's RECANT.  Sixes really are off the pace on this one, with many eights and even more sevens.  David points out that the previous game had RELATIONS, and so RELATION might have been seen today.  He goes on to note CLARINET and CILANTRO as well.

If only David had looked up CLARINET he would have seen that a variant spelling is listed there, giving the full monty from this mix: CLARIONET.

Christopher: CLIENT

Scores: Christopher 7 (13), Katie 0 (12), me 32

Round 5: E A S D T J S O N

I could not wrap my head around this one, and only had STEAD, STONED, and SEDANS.  There's a lot more sixes, but I was trying to find seven from SEDATON and failing.

This time Christopher has NOSED for five, while Katie has TOSSED for six yet again.  David has found DONATES for seven, and I really should have seen that.  Bother.  He says that it was the only seven he could find, and I think it was the only one possible.

Christopher: NOSED

Scores: Christopher 7 (13), Katie 6 (18), me 38

Round 6: Target 832 from 50 7 6 1 5 2

Katie goes for the classroom mix, and it is a surprisingly difficult one.  The factorisations are easy, with it being 13*8*8; the factors of 2 in those eights can be moved around in many ways, the most tempting being to get 52*16.  All this would require is getting 16 from 1 5 6 7... but it just doesn't seem possible.  There's a lot of other promising lines that go nowhere, also.  Any other large number in place of that 50 would yield much easier solutions, incidentally.

I had one off with 833 = (2*5 + 7)*(50 - 1).  That 17 could also have been formed as 2*6 + 5 for a minor variation.  Some time later I saw another way to 833, with 833 = 7*(2*6*50/5 - 1).  But I couldn't get to 832, try as I might.

Both contestants are two away with 830; Katie's approach is 830 = 50*2*(7 + 1) + 5*6, and Christopher's is the same just done in a different order.

Lily has found her way there, with the good solution 832 = ((50 + 5)*2 - 6)*(7 + 1).  Well done, Lily!

Christopher: 830
Katie: 830
Me: 833
Lily: 832

Scores: Christopher 7 (20), Katie 6 (25), me 45

Second break: SONG IDEA ("Smell the identity of a problem")

I found AGONISED early on but it didn't match the clue.  Eventually I realised that the "smell" was indicating NOSE, and hence DIAGNOSE.

Round 7: L R T K N E I U D

I had LENT, LITRE, TINKLE, wondered about TINKLER (it is not valid), TINKLED, and UNTRIED.  After time I toyed with UNDERLIT, UNDERKILT (it's all in perfect working order...), UNKIRTLED, and UNLIKED.  None of them are valid, although only the last of those is a surprise.

Christopher has LINKED for six; the way he declares that implies he had a longer risky word, but we don't get to find out what it was if so.  Katie has finally broken her run of sixes to find the excellent KNURLED ("having small ridges on the edge or surface; milled"; KNURL is also a verb).  That good find puts her more than a conundrum's worth ahead, and Christopher is going to need to score unanswered points in the numbers round to have a chance.

David also considered UNDERLIT, but had to settle for INTRUDE.  That word has come up a few times and I've yet to see it; I'll have to work on that, and the -UDE endings generally.

Some other sevens here are URNLIKE, NUTLIKE, and TENDRIL.

Christopher: LINKED

Scores: Christopher 7 (20), Katie 13 (32), me 52

Round 8: Target 767 from 50 7 5 10 9 6

This was an embarrassing miss.  I wrote down a backup answer of 766 = (10 + 5)*50 + 9 + 7, but then hared off trying to get 10*76 + 7 to work.  As soon as time was up I saw the obvious adjustment to my original approach: 767 = (9 + 6)*50 + 10 + 7.  This is the solution that Lily later demonstrates.

Both contestants have declared 770, which is bad news for Christopher.  Katie has 770 = (9 + 5)*50 + 7*10.  She was so very close to a solution there -- she just had to change it to 767 = (9 + 5)*50 + 6*10 + 7 and she'd have had it.  But not losing ground to Christopher is good enough at this point.

Christopher works laboriously through 770 = (50 + 9 + 6 + 10 + 2)*10, only to realise at the end that he has re-used the 10.

Christopher: [invalid]
Katie: 770
Me: 766
Lily: 767

Scores: Christopher 7 (20), Katie 13 (39), me 59


Christopher gets this five seconds in to reduce Katie's victory margin.  I got the answer nineteen seconds later; the desire to put the P's together was clear, but I took too long to do anything sensible with them.

Christopher: APPENDAGE (5s)
Katie: [no answer]

Final scores: Christopher 17 (30), Katie 13 (39), me 59

So Christopher's run comes to an end, and he has not managed to score enough to overtake Sebastian.  That leaves Christopher in eighth place and there are still enough games before the finals that he is not guaranteed to make it.  Katie could plausibly get there, in fact, or her opponent if she is defeated next game.  We'll have to see how it plays out.

This was an unlucky loss for Christopher; MURIATED was a good find, and most likely in another dictionary.  The turnaround due to that round was 14 points, and he only lost by 9.  As I commented at the beginning, it's like a reversal of the trends in his previous games; this time his invalid words cost him the game, instead of the opponent's invalid ones giving it to him.  I want to commend Katie on finding KNURLED -- lovely word!

An adequate game from me, but DONATES and 767 were very poor misses.  I hope to do better in the next one.

1 comment:

Sam Gaffney said...

Good job on the conundrum again for Christopher. MURIATED was unlucky, as MURIATE would have seen him assured of a finals place. Good play from Katie, though.

My answers:

- [a]
833 = (2*5+7) * (50-1)
767 = (9+5)*50 + 6*10 + 7

[a] I scrambled a last-second answer which was two away here, but didn't have time to write the correct answer down.