Friday, 4 May 2012

Ep 439: Rob Fischer, Andrew Fischer (May 3, 2012)

Rounds: Here.

After Simon's successful retirement yesterday, we have two new contestants.  The show producers were clearly hoping that this would happen, as the two contestants are brothers.  We don't really get to find out anything about them aside from the fact that Rob is a marketing specialist, as what chat there is is devoted to talking up the sibling rivalry.  I'm actually a bit vexed by that -- one of them is going home, so it would be nice to actually learn something about them first.

I'm afraid there was nothing close about this game; Rob comprehensively outplayed Andrew, and in fact Andrew only managed to score points once during the game; that was in a numbers round that was pretty easy.  Part of this was probably first-game nerves, but Rob did play quite well, including finding an exceptional full monty.  His numberwork was slightly off -- much to my relief! -- and the conundrum was too hard for everyone, but Rob stormed home to win by 61 points to 10.

I got away with a slightly risky word in the first round, was completely off the pace in the second, and thereafter was mostly playing catchup.  I was just a touch too slow in round four, took a conservative view in round five, and it was only the numbers that really let me pull away enough to be safe.  The conundrum was too hard for me, also, and I feel lucky to have escaped with a win.  A big contrast to previous games!  The effect of a full monty is large, as expected.

Round 1: H S R I I D E T A

I had IRIS, SIRED, RADISH, TRADIES (I wasn't sure about this, but it is fine), HARDEST, and HARDIEST.  Again I was unsure, but decided that it needed to be tried and it was all right.  After time I noted TIRADES as the safer anagram of TRADIES -- I had been trying to recall this, but it just was not coming to me -- and HAIRIEST as another eight that I would have been more comfortable with.

Both contestants have sevens; Andrew has chosen SHIRTED and Rob has gone with HARDEST.  Unfortunately for Andrew, SHIRT is not listed as a verb, nor is SHIRTED a standalone adjective, so his choice is invalid.  David has opted for HAIRIEST.

That seems to be it for the eights; there a lot of sevens.

Andrew: [invalid]

Scores: Rob 0 (7), Andrew 0, me 8

Round 2: E R S Q U E U L B

There is an error from Lily in this round; at the seventh letter Andrew called for a consonant, but she put up a vowel (the second U) instead.  He called for another consonant and she almost went with another vowel, which would have been getting a bit farcical.  Presumably Andrew decided that he was going to call a fourth vowel in any case, but I'd have asked for the vowel to be thrown away.  Still, maybe he liked it.

I think that error threw me somewhat; I certainly was thinking about it when I should have been looking for words.  I had RUSE / SURE, QUEERS, RUBLES (variant spelling of ROUBLES), and SEQUEL.  After time I found the seven that I was looking for: BRUSQUE.

Andrew has found QUEUES for six, but Rob declares a nine.  That took me completely by surprise... such a possibility was not even on my radar with that mix.  I played around with SUB- for a bit, but once I abandoned that I did manage to find BURLESQUE after all.  That's a fantastic find from Rob!  And indeed, that is his declaration.  David is very impressed, and it is stated later that this is the first full monty on the show that used the Q.

There's no mention of what David found, but his dictionary is open to a position which is almost certainly that of BURLESQUE.  It seems very likely that he found it but is not going to overshadow Rob's effort.

The other seven here is QUEUERS, and the other sixes are QUEUER and REBELS.

That great full monty from Rob gives him a 25 point lead over Andrew, and I'm on the back foot also.  At the risk of being immodest, I don't recall the last time I was ten points behind one of the contestants.  Bravo, Rob!

(As an aside, I paid the price in this round for the way I rearrange the letters on the paper; since I shunted the Q out of the way -- as is usually a good idea -- I disrupted the -SQUE sequence that was presented, making it somewhat harder to see.)

Andrew: QUEUES

Scores: Rob 18 (25), Andrew 0, me 8

Round 3: Target 661 from 25 100 7 6 2 9

Successive approximation worked quite handily here, and I saw 661 = 6*100 + 9*7 - 2 before time started.  Then I tried to get there from 675 and found 661 = 9*(100 - 25) - 2*7.  As time was running out I used a tweak to save a number: 661 = 7*(100 - 2) - 25.  (I did not get this written down within time, however.)

Rob declares 659 while Andrew declares 661, but Andrew gets as far as 100*6 before he realises that he has used the six twice.  He must have done 100*6 + 6*9 + 7; a touch of tweaking would have saved him!  That brings Rob's answer into consideration; he had 659 = (100 + 9 + 2)*6 - 7.

Lily shows the tweaked version that Andrew should have looked for: 661 = (100 + 9)*6 + 7.

Rob's lead is already out to 32 points, and it is hard to envisage Andrew coming back from that.  (Aside: It was just barely possible; optimal play from this point on, including the conundrum, would give Andrew a gain of 35 points.)

Rob: 659
Andrew: [invalid]
Me: 661
Lily: 661

Scores: Rob 18 (32), Andrew 0, me 18

First break: PRICE SIR ("More likely to snap")

Not too hard to find CRISPIER from those letters.

David's talk is about the term salwar chameez.

Round 4: N A T S F A G U E

An unpromising mix; I had ANTS, GAUNT, and AGATES.  I flailed unprofitably for the rest of the time, and just afterwards saw AGNATES for seven.  Argh.  I mentioned AGNATE back in episode 419, which was not that long ago, but it is not part of the regular lexicon yet, it seems.

This time Andrew has FANGS for five, but Rob has gone one better with FASTEN for six.  David has come through with AGNATES for seven; well done, David!

The other seven is GUANASE ("an enzyme found in thymus, adrenals, and pancreas that converts guanine into xanthine").

Andrew: FANGS

Scores: Rob 24 (38), Andrew 0, me 24

Round 5: I C R D O N A H O

We're well overdue for an O or two, and they finally make an appearance.  I had CORD, DACRON, HADRON, wondered about HADRONIC, and ANCHOR.  After time I added ORCHID as another six.  I ended up deciding against HADRONIC, which was the wrong decision; HADRONIC is listed as the adjective derived from HADRON.  (As usual, there's inconsistency about this; BARYONIC is listed, but not LEPTONIC, MESONIC, MUONIC, or TAUONIC.  There's PHOTONICS, but not PHOTONIC.  So my uncertainty was quite reasonable!)

Andrew has CHAR for 4, but once more Rob has outdone him with CHORD.  That gives me a small lead at last, which is a big relief, but it could vanish easily if I slip again.  David was not able to do better than six; he has gone with CHADOR ("a dark voluminous mantle which envelops the body leaving only a narrow slit for the eyes, worn by some Muslim women as an outer garment").

So I've missed my opportunity to outdo David; only myself to blame there, since I did see it.  HADRONIC does seem to be the only eight; the sevens are CARDOON (a plant), CHORION ("the outermost of the extra embryonic membranes of land vertebrates [...]"), and OCHROID ("yellow as ochre") / CHOROID ("like the chorion [...]"; there is a variant spelling CHORIOID, and CHOROID is also a noun).

Andrew: CHAR

Scores: Rob 24 (43), Andrew 0, me 30

Round 6: Target 375 from 75 50 1 7 2 4

Andrew is so far behind that he has to outscore Rob on this round to even have a chance of winning.  The target is too friendly, however.  I started with 375 = (7 - 2)*75, added the variant 375 = (4 + 1)*75, and then for fun noted 375 = (2 + 1)*(75 + 50) as well.

Both contestants have reached the target; Andrew and Lily have used the first of those solutions, while Rob has taken a more leisurely route with 375 = (4 + 2)*50 + 75.  That maintains his lead, and he is now guaranteed the win.  This has been a mighty drubbing so far.

On the other hand, Andrew is now on the scoreboard, which must be a relief.

Rob: 375
Andrew: 375
Me: 375
Lily: 375

Scores: Rob 34 (53), Andrew 10, me 40

Second break: TEA LEDGE ("Get someone else to solve this one for you")

A fairly clear clue for DELEGATE.

Round 7: N P C E S I O T A

A very compatible set of letters at last.  I had PENS, SPICE, PONCES, SECTION, and CAPTIONS.  After time I wrote down CAPSTONE, that I had seen within time but passed over in my search for a nine.

This time Andrew has found PAINTS for six but Rob continues his fine form with CAPTIONS for eight.  David says that there are quite a few eights, and mentions CANOEIST and CANOPIES.

In fact, we've had this mix before, just under half a year ago in episode 314.  There's no nine, and the other eights are ACONITES (ACONITE being one of a few types of plant), SAPONITE (a mineral), and ECTOPIAS (ECTOPIA: "the morbid displacement of a bodily organ or part").

Andrew: PAINTS

Scores: Rob 42 (61), Andrew 10, me 48

Round 8: Target 690 from 100 50 75 10 5 4

I desperately want a numbers round where I can outpoint Rob, so I am happy that Andrew opts for a perfect match this time.  I'm less happy when the target goes up as there are a lot of ways to get there.  I started with 690 = 4*(100 + 75) - 10, then pulled out the factor of 10 for 690 = 10*(75 - 4 - 100/50), and then a more prosaic 690 = 4*(100 + 50) + 75 + 10 + 5... although I see just now that I neglected to write down the 75 in that last one.  Fortunately the first solution is the one I would have declared so I am comfortable counting this.

Andrew has not been able to get within range, and Rob has noticed that he has used the same number twice so has nothing to declare.  I'm going to take an unjustified guess that Rob had written down 10*(75 - 5) - 10, but obviously I have little to base that on.

Lily's solution is 690 = (75 + 4)*10 - 100.

Rob: [no answer]
Andrew: [not in range]
Me: 690
Lily: 690

Scores: Rob 42 (61), Andrew 10, me 58


Thanks to Rob faltering on the previous round I am now safe, and just as well as I was quite lost on this conundrum.  I saw PREGNANT early on, but that's no use in the conundrum.  I could not solve it, and neither could the contestants.  It took me a total of two and a quarter minutes before I found REPUGNANT.

Ron: [no answer]
Andrew: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Final scores: Rob 42 (61), Andrew 10, me58

Well, that was a crushing victory to Rob.  Andrew was a bit unfortunate about SHIRTED in the first round, and maybe that rattled him a bit for the rest of the game, but he was never in the hunt after the second round and only just avoided failing to score at all.  Rob looked in fine form on the letters, and BURLESQUE was a fantastic find.  He does look quite catchable on the numbers, and maybe in a game without a full monty he will struggle to keep up.  Or maybe he will settle into things now that the first game is past and really hit his stride.  I'll be watching tomorrow to find out how he goes, of course.


Mark said...

Well done, Geoff. Even with the full monty I didn't manage to beat you.

661 = 6*100 + 7*9 - 2
375 = (4+1)*75
700 = (75-5)*10

Sam Gaffney said...

Unfortunately for Andrew Fischer, his brother has bragging rights forever. That's the sort of scoreline he might have expected playing against his celebrated homophone.

Well done to Rob and Mark for getting BURLESQUE. It jumped out at me straight away, otherwise I would have gone with QUEUERS (correctly). Other than the full monty, my game was basically identical to Geoff's - I also saw HADRONIC but didn't risk it. My other eights in Round 7 were SAPONITE and CANOPIES.

My answers:

661 = (100+9)*6+7
375 = (4+1)*75
690 = (100+75)*4-10
- (tough one)

Geoff Bailey said...

Congratulations on getting that full monty, Mark and Sam!

Sam: Even without the full monty, QUEUERS would have been enough to beat me -- looks like you're on the comeback trail.

Mark: You'd have beaten Rob, as it turns out, and that was no mean feat. Well played!

And you're right, Sam -- that's the sort of result that goes down in family history. Bad luck for Andrew!