Thursday, 2 August 2012

Ep 18: Andrew Fisher, Andrew Patterson (August 1, 2012; originally aired August 25, 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.

Tonight we find out that Andrew Fisher sings in a Melbourne choir called Gloriana, which he states has a huge repertoire ranging from the 1400's through to composers who are still alive today.  Richard investigates which end of that range Andrew prefers, and is told that he likes the "way-out contempory stuff".

Tonight's challenger is Andrew Patterson, who has worked as an I.T. analyst for twenty years.  He spends his spare time composing and solving crosswords, specifically for a medical publication.  That involves a large number of medical words and clues, as one might expect.  His wife is a GP, which allows him to run ideas past her to check on them being sensible.

Having two contestants named Andrew poses the usual issues, so for the rest of this post they will be referred to as Andrew F and Andrew P.

Andrew F found a full monty early on and Andrew P was never quite able to recover from that.  Andrew P risked an invalid word in the fourth round, only for Andrew F to return the favour in the next.  The following numbers round saw both contestants miss a simple chance to gain points over the other, and then Andrew P managed the rare feat of finding a longer word than Andrew F in the last letters round.  He needed unanswered points in the last numbers round to have a chance, but it was Andrew F who did well to solve it and seal the win; he notched up yet another quick conundrum solution to round out a 67 to 35 victory.

I had decent performance tonight, although I suspect that the only reason I knew the full monty was because of this episode so there is a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation there.  I picked up just enough on the remaining rounds to take the win regardless, although if Andrew F had risked some of the longer words he no-doubt saw then this would likely not have been the case.  My conundrum solution was very slow -- possibly not within time, although I am assuming that it was -- but the rest of it was enough to see me home.

Round 1: D R M S A I U F O

I had DRAMS (DRAM being a unit of liquid measurement), MAIDS, RADIUM, RADIUMS and MIAOUS (perhaps inspired by missing MIAOWED in yesterday's Countdown episode).

Andrew P has DISARM for six and Andrew F has chosen RADIUM also for six but implying that he has seen a longer but riskier option.  David remarks that Andrew F must have been tempted to add an S to his word; he mentions the mass noun issue and then explicitly states that plurals of elements are acceptable.

RADIUMS looks like the only seven, and there are quite a few other sixes.

Andrew F: RADIUM
Andrew P: DISARM

Scores: Andrew F 0 (6), Andrew P 0 (6), me 7

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

The -ING turned up early, and Andrew P pleased me by staying with three vowels.  That said, a fourth vowel would have replaced the L with an O and allowed OPERATING for a reasonably easy nine -- a rare case of four vowels playing well with -ING.

As it was, I had GIANT, RATING, PRATING, ALTERING / RELATING / TRIANGLE / INTEGRAL, and PALTERING (PALTER: "to talk or act insincerely; equivocate; deal crookedly").  I also wondered about REPLATING -- I have been watching a lot of MasterChef recently -- but correctly rejected it.

Andrew P has TRIANGLE for eight, but Andrew F has found the nine of PALTERING.  David explains the meaning of PALTER and states that making a gerund from it is fine, but that is a bit of an odd statement to make in these circumstances -- a gerund is the -ING form as a noun, and there's no indication that the Macquarie allows that.  It is also irrelevant, as the -ING form is more usually the present participle of the verb, as is the case here.



Scores: Andrew F 18 (24), Andrew P 0 (6), me 25

Round 3: Target 492 from 25 2 10 9 4 8

The standard method is clear, and everyone has 492 = 2*10*25 - 8 in short order.

Andrew F: 492
Andrew P: 492
Me: 492
Lily: 492

Scores: Andrew F 28 (34), Andrew  P 10 (16), me 35

First break: HIP SHAWL ("It's a real pain in the neck")

A reasonable description of the results of WHIPLASH.

David's talk is about the meanings of LEGO and Jenga.

Round 4: O E C D S M I A Y

I had CODE, CODES, and MEDICOS.  For a moment I misread the D as an R and thought that SYCAMORE was there, but fortunately not for long.  I also wrote down a speculative COMEDIAS, but was not sure if I was making that up or not.  Later checking revealed that COMEDIA is an alternative spelling of KOMEDYA ("a once-popular Philippine dramatic form dealing with the conflict between Christians and Moors in early medieval Europe"); as written, that sounds like it should not be pluralisable.  After time I noted CODEIAS (CODEIA being a variant spelling of CODEINE) as another possible seven.

Andrew F surprised me by staying with DISMAY for six; he may have been unsure about MEDICOS, and with Andrew P declaring an eight there was no need to chance it.  Andrew P tried ECDYSMIA for eight, under the impression that it was a medical term, but the Macquarie does not have it; nor does anywhere else that I can see.  David has found MEDICOS for seven.

The other sevens are MEDIACY and DAIMYOS (DAIMYO: "a member of [the class of greater nobles in Japanese feudalism]").

Andrew F: DISMAY
Andrew P: [invalid]

Scores: Andrew F 28 (40), Andrew P 10 (16), me 42

Round 5: S T H P O U I D E

I had POST, HOIST, STUDIO, OUTSIDE / TEDIOUS, and HOISTED.  After time I noted a few other sevens: SPOUTED, DISPUTE, and HIDEOUS.

Andrew P has DEPOTS for six, but Andrew F declares that he is staying with "a safe eight".  That suggests that he has seen a vaguely plausible nine, which is certainly beyond me (although I have just now come up with a candidate of UPHOISTED).  It took me around a minute to even spot his eight (which is what led me to find HIDEOUS).  Unfortunately for him, his "safe eight" of HIDEOUTS is not actually so safe -- the Macquarie requires that HIDE-OUTS be hyphenated.  David mentions HIDEOUS and HOISTED as his sevens.

The other sevens are POSITED / DEPOSIT / TOPSIDE / DOPIEST, PITEOUS, SHOUTED, and OPHITES (OPHITE being a kind of rock, as I mentioned in episode 13).

Andrew F: [invalid]
Andrew P: DEPOTS

Scores: Andrew F 28 (40), Andrew P 10 (22), me 49

Round 6: Target 479 from 100 75 50 1 3 9

Andrew P selects the balanced option, and the standard method seems like the right one to try, with the offset of 4 coming from 1 + 3.  The remaining part is achievable, and I found 479 = 9*50 + (100 - 75) + 3 + 1.

Both contestants are four away with 475; Andrew F has 475 = 9*50 + (100 - 75) while Andrew P has 475 = (9 + 1)*50 - (100 - 75).  Both contestants could have gotten closer quite simply, and those are some very odd omissions.  Lily demonstrates the adjustment to Andrew F's approach that leads to the solution listed above.

Andrew F: 475
Andew P: 475
Me: 479
Lily: 479

Scores: Andrew F 28 (47), Andrew P 10 (29), me 59

Second break: ACT SNORE ("One who came before us")

From the letters I thought it was ENACTORS, but then the clue set me on the right path to find ANCESTOR.

Round 7: X N B L U E I H R

I had LUNE and LINER; my instincts were on track as it felt like there was a six from NBLUEI, but I could not see it.  After time I added HELIX and BLUER as alternative fives.

Andrew F has BRINE for five, but Andrew P has found the word I could not: NUBILE for six.  Well done, Andrew P!

The other sixes are LUNIER and BERLIN ("large four-wheeled closed carriage hung between two perches, having two interior seats"; it's odd that the definition is lacking an "a" at the beginning).

Those points give Andrew P a much better chance of taking the game to the conundrum, just needing to outdo Andrew F on the numbers to have that chance.

Andrew F: BRINE
Andrew P: NUBILE

Scores: Andrew F 28 (47), Andrew P 16 (35), me 59

Round 8: Target 724 from 50 75 5 3 9 8

I focused immediately on 3*8 = 24, so the aim was to get to 700, possibly with tweaking.  A little investigation turned up a solution: 724 = (9 + 5)*50 + 3*8.  I also saw the possibly simpler alternative of gettting there from 725, with 724 = 9*75 + 50 - (5 + 3)/8... but only got half of it down before time ran out.

Andrew P is well outside the scoring range with 750, but Andrew F has solved it exactly to seal the win; he used the second of the methods listed above.  Well done, Andrew F!

Andrew F: 724
Andew P: [not in range]
Me: 724

Scores: Andrew F 38 (57), Andrew P 16 (35), me 69


I got lost for a bit, and then Andrew F buzzed in.  I neglected to start a timer, so I don't know if I solved this within time or not; I'd estimate it at 25 seconds, but it could have been more.

Andrew F: FREELANCE (3s)
Andrew P: [no answer]
Me: FREELANCE (~25s)

Final scores: Andrew F 48 (67), Andrew P 16 (35), me 69

It was not at all Andrew F's best performance on the letters tonight; he found the full monty, but that was his only valid maximum of the evening.  He was still very strong, though, and did well in the numbers to put the matter beyond doubt.  Andrew P played well to get some crucial points on the letters, and in particular is the first contestant to find a longer word than Andrew F.  He needed to be better on the numbers to have a chance but Andrew F would still have taken the win on the conundrum.


Victor said...

I got some revenge on Andrew this time, the key being not missing PALTERING. I then recalled seeing it in the Hall of Fame but as I had completely forgotten this prior to playing that round I'll claim it. I also "risked" RADIUMS, I didn't think it could be pluralised safely and was hoping for lax adjudication as with other series 1 words.

492 = 2*10*25 - 8
DISMAY (practically written out in the last 6 letters, a little distracting)
479 = 9*50 + 100 - 75 + 3 + 1
724 = (9 + 5)*50 + 3*8
- couldn't solve

Jan said...

Hi Geoff, I have been watching too much Masterchef too, and tried REPLATING!

Happy that I got 2 of the 3 numbers out, (thought i had 3 but used one number twice) and matched or out scored Andrew F in 3 of the letters games

REPLATING - invalid
(10+2)*25-8=492 (10)
Used the 1 twice here - bummer
Tried EXILER here - invalid
(75*9)+50 = 725. 8-3=5. 5/5=1. 725-1=724

Sam Gaffney said...

Some good play from Patterson here, and a couple of surprising oversights from Fisher. I don't think I would have heard of PALTER(ing) if I hadn't come across it in Andrew's Hall of Fame entry.

My answers:

invalid: DIFORMS(???) chosen over FAMOUS
PALTERING (as discussed)
492 = (10*25-4)*2 Did the simple way first, more interesting is: (9*10-8)*(4+2)
479 = 9*50 + 100-75 + 3+1
NUBILE (interesting that most people overlooked this)
724 = 9*75 + 50 - 8/(5+3)
Similar to Geoff (also didn't time it).

Geoff Bailey said...

*chuckles* Bad luck about REPLATING, Jan, but pleased to know there's another MasterChef viewer here.

Good results from everyone, and the key to this game was getting the nine. Hard to know how to evaluate that, given that those of us who found it probably recalled it from the hall of fame.