Monday, 14 May 2012

Ep 96 [QF3]: David Jones, Kashi Ross (May 14, 2012; originally aired December 13, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

We're back after the weekend with the third quarterfinal from series one; the box giving the original airdate is back, but they've got the correct date this time.  So that's good.

In the champion's position is third seed David Jones, a public servant who successfully retired undefeated during the main part of the series.  Richard asks about David's memories of his earlier games, and in particular the first one.  David says that in the very first round he saw an eight-letter word just before the clock finished and that was enough to settle him down.

Taking up the challenger's seat as sixth seed is teacher Kashi Ross.  Kashi was carryover champion for five episodes, so it sounds like she lost the sixth game.  Richard asks about her memories too, and it seems that they were mostly of the errors that she made (using letters or numbers twice, etc.).

Both contestants found some good words, and honours were even from the letters rounds.  But Kashi seemed to be particularly weak on the numbers, not managing to get close to some very achievable targets.  That let David get a seventeen point lead that he carried into the conundrum; neither could solve it, and so David won 54 to 37.  He will be back on Wednesday to face Andrew in the quarterfinal.

I started off with a very bad effort in the first round; that put me on the back foot, and easy numbers rounds made catching up difficult.  David faltered in the fourth round to let me equalise, and I managed to outdo him on a numbers round to get ten points ahead.  That was where things stood at the conundrum which raised the possibility of a tie, but with no-one solving it -- it was too hard for me to get within time also -- I scraped home with that ten-point win.

With two David's to worry about the potential for confusion arises, so I'll be using surname initials to clarify.

Round 1: U E O S F B C R D

After the first seven went up I could see the potential for OBFUSCATE, but when the letters went in a different direction I was thrown and had trouble recovering.  I had FUSE, FUSED, and BOUSED (BOUSE being a variant spelling of BOWSE that I mentioned recently in episode 433).  With about a second left I finally saw SCOURED for seven, but did not have enough time left to get it down.  After time I noted it down, and FOCUSED as another seven.

Kashi has found SCOURED for seven, but David J has rendered my late find irrelevant as he has OBSCURED for eight.  A good find from him!  David A mentions ROSEBUD as an interesting seven (and throws in a Citizen Kane reference), but does not actually indicate whether he found OBSCURED also (I assume that he did).

It looks like the only eight; the other sevens are OBSCURE, REFOCUS / FOCUSER, and COURSED / SOURCED.


Scores: David J 8, Kashi 0, me 0

Round 2: H I I A G B O T R

Yeesh, what a poor lot.  I had BIGHT and BRIGHT, and it is no surprise that both contestants have also gone with BRIGHT.  David A has unearthed a seven: The colloquial RIGHTIO (although you can only find it by looking under the entry for RIGHTO, so he has done well to spot it in his search).

The other sixes are ARIGHT, RIGHTO, and THORIA (a particular oxide of thorium).

With the first three vowels being IIA it was natural to seek a fourth, but note that staying with just those three would have added an N and brought -ING into play, with BIRTHING and HABITING both possible eights.


Scores: David J 14, Kashi 6, me 6

Round 3: Target 591 from 100 6 3 7 8 9

I saw 7*8*9 = 504 and was briefly tempted to use it, but could only get one away by doing so.  Then good sense reasserted itself and I tried the standard method, getting the easy 591 = 6*100 - 9.

Both David J and Lily have that 591, but Kashi ended up rather far away with 569.  That is a serious oversight; my best guess is that she could only see the options of getting there from below, and had found 569 = (8 - 3)*100 + 9*7 + 6.

David J: 591
Kashi: [not in range]
Me: 591
Lily: 591

Scores: David J 24, Kashi 6, me 16

First break: CLAY WORD ("An affliction of a well-known lion")

The clue is referring to the COWARDLY lion from the Oz stories.

David's talk is about the words belomancy, omphalomancy, gastromancy, and alectryomancy.

Round 4: I O N S E A T N C

I had IONS (duh), NOISE, TISANE, ANOINTS, CONTAINS, and wondered about ENACTIONS and CANTONISE (presumably, to divide into cantons).  With some reluctance I had to give up on them; they weren't quite plausible enough, although it looked like a mix that deserved a nine.  After time I noted some of the other eights: CANOEIST, CANONISE, CANONIST, and ANCIENTS.

David J has allowed me to catch up by staying with SECTION for seven, but Kashi has also found an eight of ACONITES (ACONITE being a poisonous herb).  Kashi thinks it is risky, but it is fine.  David A suggests that CANOEIST is an easier anagram of it.

There's no nine after all, but a few other eights: CANNIEST / INSTANCE, SONATINE (a plural of SONATINA, mentioned reasonably recently in episode 423), and SANCTION / ACTINONS (one meaning of ACTINON being as a synonym for ACTINIDE, any element with atomic number between 89 and 103).

Although OCTENNIAL is a nine-letter word (found by David A in episode 385), OCTENNIA is not valid.


Scores: David J 24, Kashi 14, me 24

Round 5: E O Q R M E N C A

Bleah for the Q.  I had MORE, and hoped for a final A for ROMANCE.  It turned up, and that was the best I could do.  Somewhat later I realised that a final consonant could have yielded a Y for CEREMONY, but that is rather poor odds and the vowel seems like the better option.  (A W would have allowed NEWCOMER, and those were the only two potential eights.)

Everyone has likewise found ROMANCE.  The other possible seven was MENACER.


Scores: David J 31, Kashi 21, me 31

Round 6: Target 580 from 25 75 8 7 9 3

I aimed for the standard method, and the numbers were cooperative; my solution was 580 = 8*75 - 25 + 9 + 3 - 7.  As time was running out I experimented with the factor of ten and found (too late to get it written down within time) 580 = (7 + 3)*(75 - 25 + 8).

Once again Kashi has not been able to get within range, with suggests a lack of familiarity with the 75-times table; there's a fairly easy one-away 581 = 8*75 - 9 - 7 - 3 on offer.  David J has found a similar one-away: 581 = (75 - (9 - 7))*8 - 3.  That extends his lead to 17, which is dangerous for Kashi.

Lily has found a different way to the offset of 20, with 580 = 8*75 - (3*9 - 7).

David J: 581
Kashi: [not in range]
Me: 580
Lily: 580

Scores: David J 31 (38), Kashi 21, me 41

Second break: ORGAN OAK ("Helps hold our coat")

The "coat" mentioned here is the Australian coat of arms, one half of which is held up by a KANGAROO.

Round 7: L K D E A U H P F

A final mess of incompatible consonants gives everyone solid sixes and no hope for better.  I had LAKE, HAULED, UPHELD, and FLAKED.

Both contestants have opted for FLUKED, and David A was not able to better it.  He gave it a try with HEADFUL but the dictionary was not cooperative.

The other six in this mix is FEUDAL.


Scores: David J 37 (44), Kashi 27, me 47

Round 8: Target 227 from 25 50 8 4 6 1

Kashi needs to outscore David J on this round (with at least seven points), which does not seem very likely given her numbers results so far.  She sticks with the family mix, and given that she needs to score at least seven that seems reasonable; she just has to hope that David J has some kind of mental slip.

The target is low and easy, though, with lots of ways to get to 225 and then lots more to make that remaining 2.  I started off with 227 = (6 + 1)*25 + 50 + 8/4, then saved a number with 227 = 4*50 + 25 + 8 - 6.  After time I saved another number with my favourite of the solutions: 227 = 6*(50 - 8) - 25.

Both contestants have solved this, which is game to David J.  Kashi's solution was the same as my second one, while David J's was 227 = (8 + 1)*25 + 6 - 4.

David J: 227
Kashi: 227
Me: 227

Scores: David J 47 (54), Kashi 37, me 57


It's no surprise that the conundrums in the finals are a tough bunch, and this one is no exception.  A lot of common letters makes it difficult to know where to start.  I fiddled around but got nowhere, and neither did the contestants.  In total, it took me a minute and forty seconds before I considered the TURN fragment and found TURNSTILE.

David J: [no answer]
Kashi: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Final scores: David J 47 (54), Kashi 37, me 57

And so what could have been a really tight game comes to an end; Kashi managed to match David J on the letters but gave up too many points on the numbers.  If she had been a little more accomplished at them she could have matched him and taken this game to a solved conundrum.

I settled down after the first round and did well enough in the main rounds thereafter.  There was not really that much potential for gaining advantage left in them, though.  With the conundrum continuing to cause me trouble I feel somewhat lucky to have taken this win.

The last quarterfinal is tomorrow, and I will be interested to see the remaining contenders in action.


Mark said...

Well done Geoff.

591 = 6*100 - 9
227 = (4-1)*(50+25) + 8 - 6

Allan S said...

Seems I did the 580 number a different way from everyone else:

580 = (8 - 3)*(75+25 + 9+7)

Geoff Bailey said...

Nice game, Mark -- you'd have been in contention at the conundrum against either contestant or myself. I particularly like your find of SANCTION.

Allan: A nice way to 580!

JT said...

I would comment but I have these in L&N book so my answers wouldn't be a fair indication of my ability, furthermore about half of this game is available on YouTube entitled "Lily Serna- Astonishing dress." ^^ In my opinion I liked the dress although I believe I've never seen Lily wear this dress after this episode. I feel bad for Rob F though who will have to wait over a month to see his last episode. (I assume, although I can't be absolutley sure, that they probably filmed his last episode after the his 5th episode win, it would be common sense.)

Sam Gaffney said...

My answers:

591 = 6*100-9
580 = (75+9)*7-8
227 = (25+4)*8-6+1
- (several minutes)

Geoff Bailey said...

Excellent game from you, Sam -- I figured you would have SONATINE as your choice for round 4. :)

JT: I would hope so also, but whatever they did there is going to be some gap in the filming unless the Masters series involves 10 episodes. Maybe we get lucky and they are extra long episodes instead. I can dream...

Five weeks until we find out, anyway. Between this and the Tour de France it really is a big interruption to the series five schedule!