Sunday, 11 March 2012

Series summary: Series 4 (Episodes 301 to 400)

And so the fourth series comes to a close, with a great finals series.  In particular, all four quarterfinals were decided by the conundrum, so everyone involved really gave it their all.  Great stuff!  The grand final ended up being very close indeed, with Sam finally beaten on the conundrum but never on the numbers.  A fine record, and congratulations to Sam and Alan for being great competitors throughout!

Series 4 champion: Sam Gaffney (577 points at an average of 64.11)
Series 4 runner-up: Alan Nash (508 points at an average of 56.44)

Now here's some aggregate statistics from the series.  It seems to have been a slightly above average year in terms of full monties found by David, since the previous three series brought the total just over a hundred.  There were more to be found, although some of the ones I have listed as missed might be dodgy so apologies to David if they are.  (I'm thinking particularly of BLOATINGS with that caveat, but there may be others I have forgotten.)

Full Monties38
Missed Full Monties16
Tough Numbers23
Impossible Numbers8

That suggests that about one in ten letters rounds has the potential for a full monty, or one every two games.  That's a bit more frequent than I would have thought; on the other hand, only three contestants managed to find one in play this series.

Only eight of the numbers rounds turned out to be impossible, which is also a little surprising given how many of the more difficult mixes were chosen this season.  It's well within expected bounds, however.  Lily found the best answer a bit over 92% of the time, which is a very enviable record.

Here's a scoring breakdown for the combined David/Lily team and myself (both solo and when competing, which I've slightly erroneously labelled HTH for head-to-head).  As I have throughout the series, I am assuming that David always solves the conundrum and always matches a contestant's results in cases where he does not give a separate answer.  Similarly, Lily is assumed to at least match contestants, and to have found at least a seven point answer in cases where she does not get to the target.  (Assuming that this is possible; I have not re-checked this, although my recollection is that it always was, with the worst case being the 780 from episode 341.)

David + Lily8002409529071000
Me (solo)688834832705700
Me (HTH)643232312651550

There's a couple of points of interest from their scores, I feel.  Firstly, just look at those performances: Lily averages 9.69 points from each numbers game, and David a staggering 8.19 points per letters game -- the full monty bonus really shows up clearly.  Fantastic solving from the pair of them!

Secondly, the game's weighting towards the letters is clearly shown up in the above.  The letters outscore the numbers by a bit over four to three, or five to three if we group the conundrum with the letters as we probably should.  At that ratio, we should throw in two more numbers rounds to make those two facets score equally.  I admit that I'm a bit surprised by this, as I thought the ratio was somewhat closer.  (I had thought five letters rounds to four numbers rounds, which would actually be pretty accurate if we ignored the conundrum.)  That said, it's far from obviously desirable that the two facets score equally; messing around with the ratios is not something to be done lightly.

My letters make up approximately the same percentage of my score as for David (a touch over 50%).  My conundrum percentage is much worse, of course (since I've assumed perfection from him), so my numbers make up the gap.

Some other statistics about my performance this series:

Full Monties12
Invalid Letters19
Invalid Numbers1
Invalid Conundrums6

(The total of my game results is larger than 100 because in the first quarterfinal I lost to Sam and tied with Sebastian, while in the second semifinal I lost to both Alan and Toby.)

Back when I started this blog I was working on the claim that I would win 95% of games.  I was on track until the finals series, where three losses pushed me down to 93%.  Still, that was satisfactorily close, and I shall aim to improve it next series.

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