Friday, 27 July 2012

Ep 14: Sudesh Piyatissa, Rob York (July 26, 2012; originally aired August 19, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: While I have not seen this episode before, I did play through the blue book (episodes 1 to 50) around ten months ago when I was scheduled to be a contestant on the show.  Additionally, I did a quick flick through it a few months back to collect words for my posts about word validity.  After the fact, I recalled one of those turning up in this episode.

Richard asks if Sudesh's medical studies have taken him overseas, and Sudesh states that they have.  The previous year in summer Sudesh and three of his mates went to the Caribbean for their medical elective.  Sudesh claims that they primarily went there for the accent and and to work on their tan, but they also worked in the hospital in St Lucia and that was a great experience.

Tonight's challenger is Rob York, a technical officer who has been playing competitive Scrabble for three years.  Rob used to sing comic opera; he was in two shows: H.M.S. Pinafore and Trial By Jury.  He was in the chorus rather than playing a character, but always enjoyed being on the stage with the others.

The game started with a tough letters round, and then an unexpected ruling from David allowed Rob to get a lead in the second round.  Sudesh followed up with two invalid answers, and then a series of flat rounds followed.  Sudesh gained crucial points in the last numbers round to get back within range at the conundrum, but Rob solved it first to take the win, 52 to 34.

I had good results on the letters -- I was particularly pleased by my answer in the first round -- but I struggled on the numbers (I attribute part of that to playing this game at two in the morning).  I completely froze on the first numbers round and ended up with nothing to declare there.  I fell just short of the final numbers target also, but solved the conundrum in decent time to finish on a good note.

Round 1: M I L U A P H R O

A rather unpromising set of letters, although a final T would have given TRIUMPHAL for nine.  It would not have been a T, though.  I had MAIL, briefly misspelled PHYLUM as PHILUM, PHIAL, and HALOUMI (a type of cheese).  I had a moment of nerves because I thought I had seen it recently spelled as HALLOUMI (which turns out to be an acceptable variant spelling), but stuck with it and was happy to find out that HALOUMI was the main listed spelling.

After time I also noted MIAOU, MIAUL, MORULA ("the mass of cells, supposedly resembling a mulberry, resulting from the cleavage of the ovum before the formation of a blastula"), and PRIMAL.

Both contestants have found five-letter words; Rob has POLAR while Sudesh has gone for MORPH.  That prompted me to realise that MORPHIA (another term for MORPHINE) is another seven in this mix.  David has gone with HALOUMI as his seven.

The remaining seven is PRIMULA (any plant of a particular genus).  The other sixes are MOHAIR, RUPIAH, LIPOMA ("a tumour made up of fat tissue"), HAMULI (plural of HAMULUS: "a small hook or hooklike process, as at the end of a bone"), and LUMPIA ("a Philippine savoury similar to a spring roll, usually with a vegetable filling").

Sudesh: MORPH

Scores: Sudesh 0 (5), Rob 0 (5), me 7

Round 2: D N T I E S J A B

I had DINT, wondered about TINED (not valid), INSTEAD, and BANDIEST.  But I recalled from episode 403 that BANDIEST was not valid, and then from my posts about validity that it had nonetheless been awarded points in this episode.  I could not find a replacement eight (there is not one) so I stayed with INSTEAD for seven.

Sudesh has TIDES for five, but as expected Rob has BANDIEST for eight.  David enthusiastically accepts it, which is a very odd decision on his part, and that is a thirteen point swing in Rob's favour.  Hopefully it will not prove to be the difference!  David says that BANDIEST was the longest he could find too, but also mentions BASENJI (a breed of dog) as a seven that uses the J.

This poses me a bit of a problem as far as my statistics go -- INSTEAD is a non-scoring maximum -- but I have to treat it as a valid result for this game.

The other sevens are BASINET, BANDIES / BASINED, BANDITS, and DETAINS / STAINED / SAINTED / NIDATES (NIDATE: "to implant in a uterus").

Sudesh: TIDES

Scores: Sudesh 0 (5), Rob 8 (13), me 7

Round 3: Target 613 from 50 8 6 1 10 7

I got lost in unprofitable lines of thought here, unable to easily find a 12 to multiply by while also keeping a 13 around.  I ended up scrambling to write down an invalid one away 612 = 50*(6 + 7) - 6*8 + 10; I caught the error of the duplicated 6 in time, but had nothing to declare in its place.

One of the ways to 612 that I had seen during my searches but not written down was 612 = (10 + 1)*50 + 7*8 + 6; if I had written that down, I might have seen the adjustement to 613 = (10 + 1)*(50 + 7) - 8 - 6.

After time, with the pressure off, I found the solution that I had been looking for: 613 = 6*((10 - 8)*50 + 1) + 7.  This turns out to be Lily's solution -- well done, Lily!

Rob is outside the scoring range with 640, but Sudesh declares two away with 611.  But his solution starts (10 + 1)*50 then 6*... and his voice trails off.  I suspect that he used the 10 twice here, and his intended answer was 611 = (10 + 1)*50 + 6*10 + 8 - 7.  In any case, he confesses that it is invalid, and neither contestant scores points this round.

Sudesh: [invalid]
Rob: [not in range]
Me: [no answer]
Lily: 613

Scores: Sudesh 0 (5), Rob 8 (13), me 7

First break: GROOM MAN ("Initially, this one might seem difficult")

Richard puts a little emphasis on the "Initially" that indicates the intended answer of MONOGRAM.

David's talk is about the word petrichor.

Round 4: O S E O V B D U K

An even more awkward mix than the first one, with nothing particularly coming together that well.  I had OBOES and BOOKED.

Rob has BOOED for five, while Sudesh tries BOOSED for six (pronouncing it like BOOZED).  That is not valid, and Rob gets the points.  David has BOOKED and BUSKED for six.

The other six is BOUSED (as I mentioned in episode 433, BOUSE is a variant spelling of BOWSE, a nautical term meaning "to tighten up; secure").

Sudesh: [invalid]

Scores: Sudesh 0 (5), Rob 8 (18), me 13

Round 5: M C R I A E N T E

I had CRIM, MICRA (as I mentioned in episode 11, this is one possible plural of MICRON), CREMATE, and CREATINE (an amino acid, as I mentioned in episode 99).  I also noted that if that M had been an N then NECTARINE would have been there, not that this is greatly relevant.

The contestants have found a pair of sevens, Sudesh with CREMATE and Rob with CARMINE.  David has found CREATINE for the eight.

The other eights are ITERANCE (iteration) / INCREATE ("existing without having been created") and ANTIMERE (as I noted in episode 386, this is listed as a synonym for ACTINOMERE: "a part corresponding to an opposite or similar part in an organism which is bilaterally or radially symmetrical"; e.g., the left and right halves of the human body).


Scores: Sudesh 0 (12), Rob 8 (25), me 21

Round 6: Target 502 from 50 10 7 3 6 9

An easy one, with really the only question being how to make the 2.  I opted for 502 = 50*10 + 6/3.

Sudesh and Rob have both solved this with 502 = 50*10 + 9 - 7.

Sudesh: 502
Rob: 502
Me: 502

Scores: Sudesh 10 (22), Rob 18 (35), me 31

Second break: SPUN TAIL ("Do you take this word mix in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health?)

Mirroring a standard wedding vow, it clearly clues NUPTIALS.

Round 7: R S T F I O A G E


Sudesh has GOITRES for seven, while Rob matches him with STORAGE.  David has found FRIGATES for the eight, and it looks like the only one.  There are lots of sevens from this mix.


Scores: Sudesh 10 (29), Rob 18 (42), me 39

Round 8: Target 662 from 50 25 6 3 8 2

Sudesh has been languishing at thirteen points behind for quite a while now, so must score points in this round to have a chance.  The target is challenging, so he might well do so.

I wrote down a fallback one-away 661 = 8*(50 + 25 + 6 + 2) - 3, and was unable to improve it within time.  Afterwards I eventually managed to get the factor of 2 to work in the solution 662 = 2*(50 + (8 + 3)*25 + 6).

Rob has not been able to get within range this time, while Sudesh is seven away with 669 = (6 + 8)*50 - 25 - 2*3.  That gives him five crucial points, getting him back within range just before the conundrum.

Lily makes it look easy as she demonstrates the solution 662 = 3*8*25 + 50 + 2*6.  Very nicely done.

Sudesh: 669
Rob: [not in range]
Me: 661
Lily: 662

Scores: Sudesh 10 (34), Rob 18 (42), me 46


I saw this one pretty quickly, although the clock was slow to start this time so the actual times below should probably have a second added to them.  The helpful fragment for me was -IMP, which I always try to look at when it is present.  Rob was the contestant to solve this first, getting him the win.

Sudesh: [no answer]
Rob: IMPORTANT (10s)

Final scores: Sudesh 10 (34), Rob 18 (52), me 56

With the final difference being eighteen points, the result did not hinge on David's ruling about BANDIEST, which is a relief.  But if Sudesh had stayed with a five-letter word in round four it would have mattered greatly.  Reasonable finds from both contestants in the letters, but the numbers did seem to be a weakness, not that I can claim to have done much better this time.


Sam Gaffney said...

I got distracted by the prospect of MISCREANT or MANTICORE in Round 5, struggled to get seven. Missing FRIGATES was also disappointing. A couple of fun number rounds.

612 = (10-8)*(50+1)*6 (saw Lily's version in time, but too late to work out how to rearrange what I had written)
502 = 50*10 + 9-7
661 = (50+25+6+2)*8-3 After: (8*50-3*25+6)*2 = 662

Victor said...

I was aware of the situation about the validity of BANDIEST in this episode from your word validity posts Geoff but I will give myself the points for the purpose of scoring vs. the contestants. In normal circumstances I would have declared BANDITS INSTEAD.

Also what's funny about INCREATE is that the definition of it uses the word "uncreated" yet this word itself has no definition in the dictionary.

My answers:

613 = (10 - 8)*(6*50 + 7) - 1
502 = 50*10 + 9 - 7
662 = 3*8*25 + 50 + 6*2 (barely in time - possible disqualification for being messy)
16s (d'oh)

Jan said...

These guys are better at the words than me, but I was pleased to match them on 3 letters rounds, and out scored them both on one numbers.

I had so many false starts on this one, and got nowhere in the 30 secs
50*10 + 6/3 = 502 (10)
(6+3)*(25+50) - (2*8) = 659 (7)

Geoff Bailey said...

Sam: Ooh, MISCREANT and MANTICORE are both lovely almost-there words. Although I'm always going to see CREMATION instead of MANTICORE, sadly.

Victor: Great game from you, with only the first round leaving you short of optimal. That's some quality numberwork, in particular.

Jan: Good results on your part, and I'd argue that you outdid both contestants on the second letters round also -- Rob's choice of BANDIEST should have been been (admittedly unluckily) scored as invalid by David.