Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ep 432: Ian Phillips, Brent Dalton (April 24, 2012)

Rounds: Here.

Richard asks for information about more of Ian's travels; Ian responds that he cannot forget climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  They started the ascent at 1:30 in the morning and zigzagged up a scree slope to get to the top of it before sunrise.  That must have been quite something!  Ian says that it took a lot out of him, but he managed to get back down again.

Much later in the show he mentions that his next travel plan is to go to Western Australia and walk the Bibbulmun Track.

Tonight's challenger is Brent Dalton, a mechanical engineer.  Brent has an ambition to build his own car; he says that it takes time, money, and inclination, and he has always had two out of three but now it is getting to the point where he can put it all together.

Brent is able to keep up with Ian for a while, but Ian manages to outscore him in two letters rounds and a numbers round.  That gives Ian a win before the final numbers game, and with nothing to lose Brent opts for a challenging rat pack.  It turns out to be too difficult for either, but Ian solves the conundrum very quickly to seal a 59 to 26 win.

I was doing well until that rat pack, which proved difficult for me.  I managed to solve the conundrum faster than Ian to end up with a good score, and fortunately post-game solving showed that the rat pack wasn't the only optimal game spoiler.  A good week so far!

Round 1: R T D U I E A M I

I had DIRT, TIRADE, MURIATE, READMIT, and MATURED.  Ian's unusual fifth vowel scuppers chances for longer.  Perhaps he was chasing after an O for MEDIATOR, but the only nines would come from consonants: An N for RUMINATED or an X for ADMIXTURE.  The actual S would have allowed a few eights.

Brent has IRATE for five, but Ian takes the points with MITRED for six.  David says that he would have tried MURIATED as a contestant, but when he checked it it was not valid and so he has settled on MATURED for seven.  Looks like David has forgotten Christopher Piggott-McKellar unsuccessfully trying MURIATED in episode 388, a result that cost him the game and a position in the finals.

The remaining unmentioned seven is AIRTIME.

Brent: IRATE

Scores: Ian 0 (6), Brent 0, me 7

Round 2: S C R E O E S N U

I had SCORE, SCORES, and CENSURES.  After time I noted some of the sevens that I had seen: CENSURE, SOURCES / COURSES, CENSERS, and CENSORS.

Both contestants have sevens; Ian has chosen SCREENS while Brent has opted for the riskier but valid UNCROSS.  David has found CENSURE and thus CENSURES for eight.

There's a fair few sevens that I will not list, but the other eights are NEUROSES and NECROSES.  Despite the similarity in form, NEUROSES is the plural of NEUROSIS, while NECROSES is derived from the verb NECROSE ("to affect with necrosis").  Arguably NECROSES could also be the plural of NECROSIS, except that the Macquarie does not list this plural form and there is that spelling shift involved.


Scores: Ian 0 (13), Brent 0 (7), me 15

Round 3: Target 474 from 25 5 10 4 3 5

Ian goes for the classroom mix, and it should be easy to get close with the target being only one away from 475.  But that final adjustment by one is difficult.  I switched tacks, trying the factor of 10, and was a bit fortunate that it fell out satisfactorily: 474 = 10*(25 + 5*5 - 3) + 4.  Later checking shows that this is the only solution, and there are a very large number of ways to get 475.

Both contestants have 475; Ian goes with 475 = 25*5*4 - 10 - 3*5 while Brent has 475 = (10 + 5 + 4)*25.  That left him a 5 and 3 for further adjustments, so he was no doubt wishing that the target had been 473 or 477.

Lily has found the solution.

Ian: 475
Brent: 475
Me: 474
Lily: 474

Scores: Ian 0 (20), Brent 0 (14), me 25

First break: FIRE DIAL ("Place where oxygen is grown")

A rather dubious definition for an AIRFIELD.

David's talk is about the word bolshie.

Round 4: T L T Q A O I D N

A lot of contestants would have gone after more vowels in the hopes of something useful, but Brent did well to try consonants instead.  Unfortunately they were not overly cooperative; I had TOTAL and a pair that I remembered from episode 411: TALION ("retaliation as authorised by law [...]") / LATION ("Aboriginal English a relative").

If Brent had gone as far as five vowels, then the U would have appeared, allowing ALIQUOT ("a known fraction of a volume of liquid taken as a representative sample") for seven.  Just one of those things.

Both contestants have found TOTAL for five, while David has also struggled.  He restorted to trying Brent's surname, finding out that DALTON is a valid word; it is a synonym for atomic mass unit (equal to one twelfth the weight of an atom of carbon-12).

The other six is LADINO: "an uncontrollable horse, steer, etc.; a stray".

Brent: TOTAL

Scores: Ian 0 (25), Brent 0 (19), me 31

Round 5: C R L A U E T S A

I had CARL (marked as archaic or obsolete for a churl, farmer, or bondsman), CAUL, and SCARLET.  I could not find longer, although it was a decent set of letters.  After time I noted down some of the other sevens that I found: CARTELS / CLARETS, CURATES, and ARCUATE.

Brent has CRATES for six, but Ian has found the very nice SECULAR for seven.  David has also chosen SCARLET for seven.

There's more sevens than I feel like listing, although I will mention CLUSTER, but there is an eight: CAESURAL, the adjective derived from CAESURA ("English Prosody a break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line [...]").

That's Ian's second gain on the letters, putting him 13 points ahead.  Brent needs to do some catchup work.


Scores: Ian 7 (32), Brent 0 (19), me 38

Round 6: Target 367 from 75 3 9 8 1 7

Another classroom mix, and with the target near a multiple of 375 the approach is clear.  I went with 367 = (8 - 3)*75 - 7 - 1.

Brent thought he had it but realises that he has made a mistake before he makes a declaration.  I'm going to guess that he used the 8 twice with (8 - 3)*75 - 8, or maybe he has made the error I sometimes make and thought that 7*75 was 375.  Whatever it is, he finished writing after ten seconds so had plenty of time to catch it.  He did the right thing and finished out the time staring at his solution, but did not manage to find the error.  Unfortunate!

Ian has made no mistake, finding 367 = (8 - 3)*75 - 9 + 1, and this is also Lily's solution.

Ian: 367
Brent: [no answer]
Me: 367
Lily: 367

Scores: Ian 17 (42), Brent 0 (19), me 48

Second break: LACE MELT ("Pen pal")

Richard puts enough emphasis on "pen" to make it clear that an unusual meaning is intended; in this case the notion of imprisonment and the answer is CELLMATE.

Round 7: G N O I S R H D E

Due to his error in the previous round Brent needs to outscore Ian here to have a chance.  The -ING is in play so sevens are likely, and I'm pleased to see that Ian stayed with three vowels... although he left the last one too late for my taste.  I had SONG, SHORING, ERODING, and REGIONS, but could not stretch it to longer.

Both contestants have found HERDING for seven, and Ian is guaranteed the win.  David notes that the final vowel being a U would have given SHROUDING for nine, but otherwise HINDERS was the best he could do.

There's a lot of sevens here; this time I'll note some of the more common ones: SHRINED, OGREISH, SHOEING, DINGOES, IGNORES, IGNORED, and INSHORE.


Scores: Ian 24 (49), Brent 7 (26), me 55

Round 8: Target 527 from 4 5 10 3 7 1

We find out later that Brent had set himself a target of 27 points from his time on the show, so he only needs one more to get there.  He makes his task difficult, though, by choosing a rat pack.  It's quite a tough one despite a reasonable spread of small numbers, and I floundered somewhat too long for two away with 525 = 5*(10*(7 + 3) + 4 + 1).

After time I managed to get one away more easily (now that I was resigned to being off the target) with 528 = 4*(10 + 1)*(7 + 5), and after another minute or so of fiddling around I saw the factorisation 17*31 = 527.  It took a bit longer to get that to work out, but I did manage to extract the solution 527 = (10 + 7)*(4*(3 + 5) - 1).

Brent has ended up out of the scoring range with 544, and Ian is even further away.  But Lily has found the solution listed above -- bravo, Lily!

There is one other solution, as it turns out: 527 = (10*7 - 4)*(5 + 3)  - 1.  A tough one!

Incidentally, I'm not sure that I believe Brent is correct about having 544.  I'm more inclined to believe that he found 546 = 5*10*(7 + 4) - 3 - 1 and miscalculated the total.  I say this because there are only four ways to get 544; three of them involve unlikely tweaking to get the target too high, and the other is 544 = (10 + 7)*4*(5 + 3)... which was just a tweak away from the actual solution.

Ian: [not in range]
Brent: [not in range]
Me: 525
Lily: 527

Scores: Ian 24 (49), Brent 7 (26), me 62


Very easy to almost read the answer off directly.  I found it at the one second mark, and Ian got there about half a second later.

Ian: WATERFALL (1.5s)
Brent: [no answer]

Final scores: Ian 24 (59), Brent 7 (26), me 72

Brent looked a bit behind on the letters, but not too out of contention.  However, he was not able to make up the ground on the numbers, with Ian doing a solid job there.  I still think Ian could be caught on them, but this was not the night for it.  Decent efforts -- I particularly liked Ian's find of SECULAR -- and a fast solution to the conundrum pushed Ian up almost to the sixties.  If he can keep scoring like this he is in with a good finals chance.  Of course, there's at least two more games to win before that can happen.


Mark said...

Well done, Geoff.

475 = (10+5+4)*25
367 = (7-3+1)*75 - 8
530 = (5*10 + 3)*(4+7-1)

Sam Gaffney said...

I was playing away from home last night, I don't know if that contributed to my continuing number problems.

My answers:
nothing, mistake-riddled

Geoff Bailey said...

Bad luck with MURIATED, Sam -- at least you were in good company with David on that front.

Good job with the 530, Mark; it was definitely a round where getting close is a good result!

I think you're in trouble with ACTUALS, though -- the Macquarie only lists ACTUAL as an adjective.

Mark said...

Thanks for letting me know about ACTUALS, Geoff. I was reasonably confident that it would be valid; I seem to remember hearing it used in a financial context.

JT said...

There is a typo in round 3 Geoff, you wrote "Family mix" it was a classroom mix.

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, JT! Fixed.