Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Ep 299 [SF2]: Colin Turnball, Jeremy Schiftan (June 6, 2012; originally aired October 20, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

There's another minor snippet revealed in the pre-game chat: Jeremy is still playing dub/reggae (presumably this was discussed during his episodes in the main part of the series), and in the last week or two has actually been in the recording studio "laying down tracks", as Richard puts it.

Another very close game tonight, but a big contrast to yesterday's game -- most rounds produced different results from each contestant, and the lead kept shifting back and forth.  Jeremy got first blood in the initial letters round, only for Colin to overtake him in the first numbers round.  Colin was unfortunate in the next round when his word was not listed in the Macquarie, and Jeremy had the lead again.  But once more Colin's numberwork put him back into the lead, and then Jeremy tied up the scores in the next round.  Jeremy was one crucial step closer to the target number in the last numbers round and took a seven point lead into the conundrum.  Either could have won it, but in the end it proved too difficult for both; Jeremy squeaked through to the final with a 40 to 33 win.

I had good results -- nearly optimal, in fact -- including outdoing David in one round.  But an oversight in one of the numbers rounds lost me my chance to beat the David and Lily combination, and I was kicking myself for a while over that.  I did solve the conundrum a touch over halfway through, and rounded out what turned out to be a comfortable win.  I suspect I may not have won this the first time it aired, though -- some of my answers were definitely the result of improvements to my play.

Round 1: C H A U K E S R I

Not the most promising set, but it does have a bit more potential than may be immediately apparent.  I had HACK, ACHES, ARCHES / SEARCH, HACKIES (harking back to Jeremy's quarterfinal), and late in the piece spotted EUCHARIS (I mentioned this in episode 381; it is a particular genus of plant).  After time I noted down HACKERS as another seven.

Colin has CRUISE for six, but Jeremy draws first blood with SHAKIER for seven.  David has selected HACKERS as his seven.

EUCHARIS is the only eight; the other sevens are SAUCIER, CUSHIER, CASHIER / CAHIERS (CAHIER: "a report of the proceedings of any body"; I mentioned this in episode 429), HUSKIER, RICKSHA (variant spelling of RICKSHAW), CHUKARS (CHUKAR: "a Eurasian partridge [...]"), SHUCKER, and SHICKER ("to drink to excess").


Scores: Colin 0, Jeremy 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: N E P A R I T E L

I had PANE, PAINTER, PRALINE, and APERIENT ("a medicine or an article of diet that acts as a mild laxative").  I noted that if the final letter had been a D then REPAINTED would be there; it was mentioned during Jeremy's quarterfinal that he had found that full monty during his main set of games.  It would certainly be an unusual double to get the same full monty twice!

After time I noted TRIPLANE as another eight, and in fact I'm pretty sure that this game was the one that introduced TRIPLANE to my game lexicon, as it were.  (Obviously I knew the word already, but once it has been noticed in game contexts it can become easier to find.  It definitely was in this case, as I found it again just a few episodes later in episode 302.)

Both contestants have found sevens; Colin has PAINTER while Jeremy has the nice REPTILE.  David has TRIPLANE for eight, as could have been inferred from the previous paragraph.

There does not seem to be a nine (although it amuses me to say that Earth is PLANETIER than Pluto, the Macquarie does not back this term); the other eights are ENTAILER / ELATERIN (I've mentioned this in episode 387, where I described it as "a white crystalline substance, apparently obtained from the squirting cucumber") / TREENAIL ("a cylindrical pin of hard wood for fastening together timbers in ships, etc."), PERINEAL (adjective derived from the perineum), PETALINE ("relating to or resembling a petal"), and PEARLITE ("an iron carbon alloy [...]").


Scores: Colin 0 (7), Jeremy 0 (14), me 16

Round 3: Target 419 from 25 1 3 5 7 2

The standard method suggests trying to get there from 425, which is 17*25.  My first thought was to get the offset of 6 as 2*3, but then I could not make the 17.  The first way which occurred to me to get that 17 did not lead to a solution, and I wrote down a two-away 421 = (2*5 + 7)*25 - 3 - 1.  A little later I saw another way to the 17 which fortunately led to a solution: 419 = 25*(3*5 + 2) - (7 - 1).

Much later I saw yet another way: 419 = (2*7 + 3)*25 - 5 - 1.  I chose the least helpful 17 first!  Also after time I considered the target as 420 - 1, since 420 is 7*60.  That yielded a pair of solutions: 419 = 7*(25 + 5)*2 - 1 and 419 = 7*(25 - 5)*3 - 1.

Jeremy has not been able to get anywhere with this, or at least not anything written down.  But Colin has reached the target with the same solution that I had.

Colin: 419
Jeremy: [no answer]
Me: 419

Scores: Colin 10 (17), Jeremy 0 (14), me 26

First break: AGAIN VET ("Find your way to the answer")

With that clue I was able to NAVIGATE my way there.

David's talk is about the word calibre.

Round 4: D O M I N E E B S

After the first six letters I was hoping for another I for DOMINIE (and later DOMINIES), but no such luck (DOMINIE: Chiefly a Scottish term for a schoolmaster).  Instead I had MIND, DEMON, BIOMES (I mentioned this relatively recently in episode 442), and DEMONISE.  After time I added EMBODIES as another eight.

Jeremy has DEMONS for six, while Colin opts for DEBONES for seven.  Unluckily for Colin, the Macquarie does not list DEBONE and so his answer is invalid; that gives Jeremy the lead once more.  David has also found DEMONISE for eight.

The other eight is EBONISED; the other sevens are EBONISE / EBONIES, MISDONE, and SIDEMEN (SIDEMAN: "a male member of a jazz band other than the leader").

Colin: [invalid]
Jeremy: DEMONS

Scores: Colin 10 (17), Jeremy 0 (20), me 34

Round 5: H G U A F T O I D

Colin was pretty unimpressed by how this mix started out, making my first choice of FAUGH ("an exclamation of disgust") rather appropriate.  Aside from that, I had HAFT, TOUGH, AGOUTI, and FOUGHT.

Both contestants, and David also, have opted for FOUGHT.

The other six is FUGATO ("in fugue style, but not according to strict rules"; it is also music in this style, allowing the extension of FUGATOS should that ever come up).

Jeremy: FOUGHT

Scores: Colin 16 (23), Jeremy 6 (26), me 40

Round 6: Target 883 from 50 75 10 5 1 2

The target is 8 and 17 away from the surrounding numbers, and neither is that hopeful.  I started with trying to get there from 875, with a quick tweak for one away with 882 = (5 + 2)*(75 + 50 + 1).  I briefly contemplated descending from 900, but overlooked the easy 12 and in any case getting a 17 seemed problematic.  After time I paid a bit more attention to that idea, and realised that the 12 was easy to make, and could then be tweaked to render the 17 achievable also: 883 = (10 + 2)*(75 - 1) - 5.  A disappointing miss.

It became more disappointing when I realised that I had written down 882 = (5 + 2)*(75 + 25 + 1), accidentally transcribing a 25 instead of a 50; that rendered my solution invalid.

Jeremy is one away with 882, which presumably was the answer I had intended to write down.  But Colin has reached the target with the solution listed above; this was also Lily's solution.  That gives the lead back to Colin again, in a see-sawing contest.

Colin: 883
Jeremy: 882
Me: [invalid]
Lily: 883

Scores: Colin 26 (33), Jeremy 6 (26), me 40

Second break: BEER LAMP ("Before a slow walk")

This mix brings back memories of the republic referendum, with the answer being PREAMBLE.

Round 7: C M E A S R W O A

I had CAME, MACES, SCREAM, wondered about COAMERS (for some reason I keep thinking that the beach waves -- COMBERS -- are spelled this way; fortunately I also know that I keep making this mistake), and in desperation wrote down WOMERAS as a hopeful alternative spelling of WOOMERAS (WOOMERA: "a type of throwing stick with a notch at one end for holding a dart or spear").  As time ran out I saw CAMERAS at last, but could not get it down.  That prompted me to chance WOMERAS after all, as I did not think I would be worse off.  The high-risk play paid off, with WOMERA indeed being an alternative spelling of WOOMERA.  Phew!

Colin has SCREAM for six, but Jeremy has proved me right by finding CAMERAS for seven, and that ties the scores again.  It's definitely been a close match, and now the conundrum is guaranteed to matter.

The other sevens are ROSACEA ("a skin condition of the face characterised by redness caused by enlargement of the blood vessels under the skin, combined with acne-like eruptions"), SARCOMA ("any of various malignant tumours originating in the connective tissue, attacking especially the bones"), and CAEOMAS (one plural of CAEOMA, which I mentioned in episode 391).

But there is an eight!  It is CASEWORM: "a caddis worm or other caterpillar that constructs a case around its body".  I'd considered WORMCASE after time, but not this.  That's my word learned for the day, then.


Scores: Colin 26 (33), Jeremy 13 (33), me 47

Round 8: Target 412 from 25 50 7 3 7 9

The conundrum will decide all, but it may still make a difference who is in front, so the selection in this round is important.  Colin has gained ten points over Jeremy in each of the other two numbers rounds, so the psychological edge might be with him.  In any case, Jeremy opts for a relatively safe family mix.

I wrote down a quick one-away 413 = 7*50 + 9*7, neglecting to even tweak that to simply 7*(50 + 9).  The aim was to get to 400 and add the 12, and some fiddling around eventually guided me to the answer: 412 = (7 + 7)*25 + 50 + 9 + 3.  This also turns out to be Lily's solution.

Colin is two away with 410, that I will guess was (9 + 7)*25 + 7 + 3.  But Jeremy is just one closer with 411 = 9*50 - 25 - 7 - 7, and takes the lead going into the conundrum.

There are a fair few other solutions, but they mostly feel a bit less intuitive than the one above.  My favourite is the deceptively simple 412 = 9*(50 - 7) + 25.

Colin: 410
Jeremy: 411
Me: 412
Lily: 412

Scores: Colin 26 (33), Jeremy 13 (40), me 57


And so to the conundrum, with Colin needing to solve it while Jeremy can hang on if it proves to be too hard.  I got distracted for a long time by -ABLE and -ULATE endings, but eventually truncated that last to just -ATE and found the answer not long afterward.  Neither contestant is able to solve it, as it turns out, and so Jeremy takes the win.

Colin: [no answer]
Jeremy: [no answer]

Final scores: Colin 26 (33), Jeremy 13 (40), me 67

An enthralling game, with the lead changing hands several times and only two of the main rounds tied.  Jeremy had the better of the words, managing to offset Colin's advantage in the numbers.  Colin was not quite as on top of things as in his quarterfinal, but note that if DEBONES had been valid then he would have won the game.  Jeremy found some key results when he needed them -- CAMERAS in particular -- and will face Jacob in tomorrow's grand final.


Sam Gaffney said...

I had a good game on this episode last year, but couldn't resist having a peek again last night. The only bit of interest for me was spotting an elaborate way to 883 a few seconds before time:

883 = (75+10)/5*(50+2)-1

Last year I did that round Colin's way. He had a couple of great numbers answers in this episode, but Jeremy did really well to catch up the 20 points from those two rounds. Colin was definitely unlucky that DEBONES was not in the dictionary, a Google search for "debone" returns 1.32 million results. As Jacob commented yesterday, there is a very fine line between victory and defeat in many episodes.

Mike Backhouse said...

That elaborate 883 was great Sam!

(5*2+7)*25-3-1=421 (2 off)
BONED then DEBONES just after time only to find out it is surprisingly not in the Macquarie
TOUGH grrr
(10+2)*(75-1)-5=883 (Colin's way)
9*(50-3)-7-7=409 (3 off and after time Jeremy's way - 1 off)