Friday, 10 August 2012

Ep 24: Kashi Ross, Jonathan Scarlett (August 9, 2012; originally aired September 2, 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.

This is Kashi's fourth night, and she gets a question that will become a frequent occurrence for fourth-nighters: Richard asks what techniques she has.  She answers much the same as everyone else does, that she looks for affixes or common patterns in the letters, and tries to get to the nearest multiple of 100 or 50 in the numbers (and then work from there).

Tonight's challenger is Jonathan Scarlett, who is in his final year of study for a double degree in electrical engineering and computer science.  Jonathan also plays guitar -- he's done so for six years -- and performs with the Engineering Music Society.  Richard finds the combination a little unusual, and asks if they are all musical engineers.  Jonathan explains that you don't have to be an engineer to join -- it's just that the society was created by engineers so that's what they decided to call it.  It's basically a club where people get together to play music; they have an orchestra, a concert band, and a couple of stage bands which he plays electric guitar in.

It was a very close game this time; Jonathan got the early lead in the first round, but then Kashi was rewarded for her risk in the second round to claim the lead.  A couple of shared rounds followed, and then Kashi extended her lead with another good word, only for Jonathan to retake it in the following numbers round.  Then he found the better word, but an error on his part in the last numbers round allowed Kashi to take a slender lead into the conundrum.  It was all there to play for, but it proved too difficult for them both and Kashi just got home, 41 to 39.

I bobbled a numbers game yet again -- I'm really getting a bit bothered by that -- and missed a word that I should have seen.  Aside from that it was mostly smooth sailing, and I solved the conundrum in relatively short time to round out a comfortable win.

Round 1: D A I R J E S M T

I had RAID, AIRED, and READMITS; I have had troubles seeing READMITS on occasion, so I was glad to do so easily this time.

Kashi starts slowly with MATED for five but Jonathan gets the lead with MASTER for six.  Jonathan has an unusual style when searching for words, which seems to involve pressing his fingers to the page; possibly he is covering up some letters to help him focus on subsets?  That's an intriguing approach if so, and I can see how it might help.

David has found READMITS for eight, and it seems to be the only one.  Chambers lists JEMIDAR (and thus would allow JEMIDARS) as a variant spelling of JEMADAR ("a native Indian army officer below a subahdar; an officer of police, customs, etc."), but the Macquarie does not have it (in either spelling).

The sevens are RAMJETS, MISREAD / ADMIRES, SMARTED, READMIT, MISDATE, SMARTIE / MAESTRI / IMARETS (IMARET: "(in Turkey) a hospice for pilgrims, etc."), and TIRADES / STAIDER / ASTRIDE / DIASTER ("a stage in mitosis at which the chromosomes, after their division and separation, are grouped near the poles of the spindle") / DISRATE ("to reduce to a lower rating, as a petty officer, or a non-commissioned officer of marines; degrade").

[Update: Thanks to commenter Jan for pointing out TRADIES as another seven in that mix.]

Kashi: MATED
Jonathan: MASTER

Scores: Kashi 0, Jonathan 0 (6), me 8

Round 2: S O T U B A P E C

I had OUTS, BOUTS, ABOUT, OBTUSE, TOECAPS / CAPOTES (CAPOTE being a type of cloak), and OUTPACES (I was too slow to find this back in episode 350, so it was good to get it comfortably this time).

Jonathan has BEATS for five -- missing the option of increasing that to UPBEATS for seven -- but is beaten by Kashi's "doubtful" eight of OUTPACES.  It's fine, though, so Kashi takes the lead.

It looks to be the only eight; some sources would allow SAUCEPOT, but the Macquarie does not.  The other sevens are OUTPACE, ACETOUS ("sour; vinegary"), and TEACUPS / CUSPATE (variant form of CUSPATED: "having a cusp or cusps").

Jonathan: BEATS

Scores: Kashi 8, Jonathan 0 (6), me 16

Round 3: Target 911 from 9 5 5 1 4 10

Kashi becomes the first contestant to choose six small numbers, and it's been a fair while coming.  Unfortunately I made a mess of this, and had to scramble to get a one-away 910 = (5 + 5)*(9*10 + 1) written down in time.  Afterwards I approached it a little more sensibly and found the solution 911 = 10*(5*5*4 - 9) + 1.

Both contestants and Lily have solved this with a different approach: 911 = 5*5*4*9 + 10 + 1.  Even after time I overcomplicated things!

These are the only solutions, so that's good solving from both contestants.

Kashi: 911
Jonathan: 911
Me: 910
Lily: 911

Scores: Kashi 18, Jonathan 10 (16), me 16

First break: CASH WIND ("A food named after an eighteenth-century British earl")

The food is the SANDWICH, of course.

David's talk is about the words hector and heckle.

Round 4: R O N E W H A B N

A tough mix!  I had WORN, HERON, and BANNER.

Both contestants have also found BANNER; David was stuck with six for a while, too, but managed to find NEWBORN for seven.

The other sixes are BORANE (a chemical), RENOWN, and WANNER.

Jonathan: BANNER

Scores: Kashi 24, Jonathan 16 (22), me 22

Round 5: O S M E I P G E R

I had SOME, POISE, IMPOSE, EGOISM, IMPOSER (which I was unsure about, but is fine) / PROMISE, and PROMISEE.

Jonathan has PRIMES for six, but Kashi has found PREMISE for seven to extend her lead.  David found PROMISE and then the extension to PROMISEE.

I'll note that Kashi does something here that is a little odd (and I think I've seen her do this before, too, but this case was much more noticeable).  Richard asks her how well she went, and she announces a seven and then quite visibly writes two glyphs on her pad.  That's the sort of thing that should be strongly discouraged; while it is probably completely innocent it can give a different impression and there's simply no need for it: Any writing she feels the need to do can be postponed until after that section has finished.

The other eight is REIMPOSE.

The sevens are EMPIRES / PREMIES (variant spelling of PREMMIES, PREMMIE being colloquial for a premature baby) / SPIREME ("(of a plant or animal) the chromatin of a cell nucleus, when appearing in a continuous or segmented threadlike form, during mitosis") / EPIMERS (EPIMER: "either of a pair of isomeric compounds which differ from each other in the chirality at one atom") / EMPRISE ("an adventurous enterprise"), REGIMES / ÉMIGRÉS / REMIGES (plural of REMEX: "one of the large, stiff feathers which form most of the extent of a bird's wing, and which are essential to flight"), and SERPIGO ("a creeping or spreading skin disease, as tinea").

Jonathan: PRIMES

Scores: Kashi 24 (31), Jonathan 16 (22), me 30

Round 6: Target 853 from 25 100 8 9 2 3

Jonathan goes for a more traditional option, and the standard method seems likely to apply.  The aim is to get to 850 while keeping the 3, and there's a few ways to it.  I note 853 = 8*100 + 2*25 + 3 and 853 = 9*100 - 2*25 + 3 in time, and then the shorter 853 = 9*(100 - 8) + 25 after time.

Kashi is one away with 854; I'll guess this was 8*100 + 25 + 9*3 + 2.  But Jonathan has solved this exactly, using the first of the solutions listed above, as has Lily.  That's a very timely ten points for him, putting him a point ahead.

[Update: Commenter Collin points out that 854 = 8*100 + 9*3*2 is a more plausible option for Kashi's answer.]

Kashi: 854
Jonathan: 853
Me: 853
Lily: 853

Scores: Kashi 24 (31), Jonathan 26 (32), me 40

Second break: BUT AROSE ("A French interference")

I could try and quibble about "interferer" being more appropriate than "interference", but it's clear that SABOTEUR is the desired answer.

Round 7: A L S A F E O Y L

I had ALAS, FALSE, SAFELY, and ALLOYS.  After time I saw that I had somehow overlooked FALSELY, which was a bad miss under the circumstances.

Kashi has SAFELY for six, but Jonathan has accurately found FALSELY for seven to extend his lead.

The other sixes are SOLELY, ALLEYS, ALLAYS, and FELLAS.

Jonathan: FALSELY

Scores: Kashi 24 (31), Jonathan 33 (39), me 40

Round 8: Target 700 from 25 1 2 9 8 7

With a seven handy, the general aim is pretty clear.  I started with 700 = 7*(8/2)*25, then bypassed the 25 entirely with 700 = 7*(9 + 1)*(8 + 2).  After time I noted another solution: 700 = 7*(9*8 + 25 + 2 + 1).

Jonathan has realised that he has made a mistake and has nothing to declare.  Kashi has solved this, and her solution is 700 = (9 - 8 + 1 + 2)*25*7.  Lily demonstrates the first of the solutions above.

That puts Kashi back into the lead in what has been a topsy-turvy match, but the conundrum will decide it all.

Kashi: 700
Jonathan: [no answer]
Me: 700
Lily: 700

Scores: Kashi 34 (41), Jonathan 33 (39), me 50


I hesitated a fraction over this, but it was pretty clear.  Of course, it helped that I had found this word once before...  Neither contestant was able to solve it, and Kashi scraped home the winner.

Kashi: [no answer]
Jonathan: [no answer]
Me: ESTABLISH (2.5s)

Final scores: Kashi 34 (41), Jonathan 33 (39), me 60

Pretty decent play from both contestants tonight, but Jonathan's stumble on the last numbers round proved to be crucial.  The lead changed back and forth several times and the result was always in doubt, right up until the end.  Both did well, but Kashi ended up with the advantage and gained that vital fourth win that will probably earn her a place in the finals.


JT said...

Jonathon willbe ruing that Round 8 fade which cost him the game.
I might need clarification on UPBEATS in round 2 I have seen the defition as a noun on the net which means it should be able to be pluraised but I am still not sure.

My Answers
909-((5+5)x10)+1)x9 (pay the price for obssesive tweaking)

JT said...

Sorry I've sen the blog UPBEATS is valid phew!!!

Collin said...

My Answers

910 =( ((5 + 5) *9) + 1) * 10 (SHAKING MY HEAD)
853 100*8 + 25*2 + 3
700 = 25*(8/2)*7

Collin said...

Geoff in round six you mention Kashi may have calculated 854 by
8*100 + 25 + 9*3 + 2

Another alternative is
8*100 + 9*3*2

Sam Gaffney said...

911 = 9*5*5*4 + 10 + 1
PREMISE (considered PROMISEE, but saw it a second too late anyway)
853 = (100-9)*8 + (3+2)*25
700 = 7*25*8/2
~4s (wasn't missing this)

Geoff Bailey said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person to have seen FALSE and yet missed FALSELY. :)

JT: Yes, UPBEAT as a noun is fine; I thought that this had come up before on the blog, but it seems not.

Good point about 854, Collin! I would have to say that is a more likely option. I'm amending the post to mention this.

Sam: Heh, I rather thought you would get this conundrum.

Jan said...

Geoff - thanks for your kind comment yesterday. I have ongoing health issues, unfortunately. Gives me more time playing!

905 (0)
8*100 + 2*25 + 9/3 = 853 (10) Goodness knows why I didn't just use the 3 instead of 9/3!
8/2 = 4. 4*25 = 100 7*100 = 700 (10)

Geoff Bailey said...

Oh, nice spot on TRADIES, Jan -- I've updated the post to include it. And bad luck on that phantom S in round 5!

Jan said...

But Geoff, there was an s in Rd 5! You had "promisee" Am I being really thick here?

Geoff Bailey said...

Jan: No, that one's my error. I was getting my games confused -- I'd played them all by this point -- and was channelling a couple of results from the next game. Sorry about that!

(To explain my error more fully: I saw that you'd score GRIPES zero, but was thinking of episode 25 where six was good enough to score in that round. That puzzled me, and I incorrectly resolved that by assuming that you had decided the word was invalid, which would fit with what turned out to be the previous round from episode 25, where GRIPE was present.

If I'd just checked which episode was being responded to I might have caught my error. Regardless, apologies once more!)

Jan said...

No worries Geoff! Apologies accepted. And I can understand why it happened

Victor said...

Well played Geoff. I'm a bit too busy to post results at the moment.

Jonathan's finger technique is also used by Jacob Davey and Anthony Kendall - I distinctly remember both of them using it in their semi-final.