Friday, 10 August 2012

Ep 25: Kashi Ross, Carol Campbell (August 10, 2012; originally aired September 3, 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.

On Kashi's fifth night we find out that she is a competitive table tennis player; she has been playing for many years.  Last year she was a student at a university so she competed in the team and ended up coming second in the university championship.  But she's not likely to take it further -- it's more of a hobby; she has a table at home, though, and will happily play guests who like the game.

Tonight's challenger is Carol Campbell, a retired teacher.  Carol has lived in four different countries and had forty-two (!) different addresses.  Richard asks what her favourite address was, and Carol responds -- perhaps misinterpreting the question -- that it was Egypt.  There were fantastic opportunities there and the cultures are quite different, especially with regard to education.  They take a very top-down approach to education, whereas Carol tends to run a very cooperative and interactive classroom, and her students loved it.

It was a relatively low-scoring game, with the numbers providing only five points in total.  Carol was able to match Kashi several times in the letters but not outdo her, and Kashi had the game wrapped up before the conundrum.  Kashi completed the win by solving the conundrum first, and the final scoreline was 45 to 17 in her favour.

I had a good game except for once again missing a numbers option; it's really been a bad week on that front.  On the other hand, I did find the full monty which continues a good run of form from me on that front.  I solved the conundrum quickly and very nearly managed to keep both contestants scoreless, so it's a good way to end the week.

Round 1: N I G U T D H A I

I had DINT, THUD, DAUNT, and AUDITING.  Normally I'd advocate a final consonant, but I can't deny that the I worked out very handily this time.

Carol has NAUGHT for six, matched by Kashi's choice of HATING.  David is as on-track as ever with AUDITING for eight.

The sevens are IGUANID (any lizard of a certain family) and HINDGUT ("the posterior portion of the embryonic digestive canal from which the colon and rectum develop").

The other sixes are DATING, AIDING, HIDING, TIDING, TAHINI, and the unusual HADING (HADE: "to incline from a vertical position").


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

Round 2: S E O R E T C D A

I had ROSE, STORE, CORSET, SECTORED / ESCORTED (helped along by memories of episode 7, I think), and DECORATES.

Carol has six again with SECRET, but Kashi has managed that one better with COASTER for seven.  David has followed similar lines of thought to myself, finding ESCORTED and DECORATES.

The other eights are DECORATE and REDCOATS (REDCOAT: "a British soldier").


Scores: Kashi 0 (13), Carol 0 (6), me 26

Round 3: Target 844 from 25 100 75 9 5 3

I committed the error of not satisfactorily thinking the offsets through; I was so focused on using the 9 to get close that the desirability of retaining it to help make the final offset of 6 slipped my mind.  That made this difficult to solve, and I ended up with a one-away 845 = 9*(100 + 5) - 75 - 25.

After time I approached the problem more sensibly and considered that it would probably be worthwhile to try to keep 9 - 3 for the final offset of 6.  That constrained the options considerably, so much so that the solution practically falls out without further work: One has to multiply by 5 to get somewhere near, only the 100 and 75 (summed) are big enough to make that work even approximately, and they get one close enough: 844 = 5*(100 + 75) - 25 - (9 - 3).  This is the solution that Lily later demonstrates.

Kashi declares a ten-away 834, but Carol declares just one away with 845.  Carol starts confidently with 9*100 - 75, and this could certainly be continued to give 845 = 9*100 - 75 + 25 - 5.  However, at that point she indicates that she has made some kind of error and her solution is invalid.  That brings Kashi's answer back into consideration; it was 834 = (5 + 3)*100 + 25 + 9.

Kashi: 834
Carol: [invalid]
Me: 845
Lily: 844

Scores: Kashi 0 (18), Carol 0 (6), me 33

First break: VINE DOES ("Going down, down, down")

I couldn't work this one out; I often struggle with compound words, and NOSEDIVE was another instance of that.

David's talk is about the words peculiar and surly.

Round 4: X O R I L E P G U

I had ROIL, ORIEL ("a bay window, usually semipolygonal, especially in an upper storey"), PROLIX ("speaking or writing at great or tedious length"), and GROUPIE / PIROGUE ("a canoe or open boat hollowed from the trunk of a tree, as the outrigger canoes of Polynesia").

Carol has GROUP for five -- so close! -- while Kashi essays POXIER for six.  David looks it up and declares that "poxy is good and the comparative form poxier is also good"; I'm really not sure what guidelines he was working to at the time -- possibly better ones, but definitely more lenient -- as there has been a lot of precedent since that point indicating that POXIER would not be valid if tried today since the comparative is not explicitly listed.  I guess he had to check in case a different comparative form was given.

David points out that Carol could have tacked on the other two vowels to get GROUPIE for seven.

The other sixes are GLUIER / UGLIER / REGULI (one plural form of REGULUS: "an impure intermediate product obtained in smelting ores"), GULPER, PLEXOR ("a small hammer with a soft rubber head or the like, used in percussion for diagnostic purposes"), and PROLEG ("one of the abdominal ambulatory processes of caterpillars and other larvae, as distinct from the true or thoracic legs").

Carol: GROUP

Scores: Kashi 0 (24), Carol 0 (6), me 40

Round 5: O S B A I W T S U

Ergh, what a mess.  I had BOAS, BIAS, BOWS, WAIST, and WAISTS.  After time I saw WATUSI (a dance) and thus the possibility of WATUSIS for seven.

It's fives from both contestants, with Kashi having BOATS and Carol having STOWS.  David points out that Kashi could have inserted the other S to get BOASTS which is an anagram of SABOTS (SABOT: "a wooden shoe made of a single piece of wood hollowed out, worn by peasants in France, Belgium, etc."), but the word that he really liked was WATUSI.  It's odd that he did not pluralise it, and at the end of the show he remarks that he wishes that he had done so.

The other sixes are SUBITO ("(in music) suddenly; abruptly"), OUTSAW (past tense of OUTSEE), and BIOTAS (I've mentioned this word a few times, I think, one instance being in episode 441; BIOTA is "the total animal and plant life of a region, or sometimes a period, as seen collectively and interdependently").

At this point I'm a rather large 46 points ahead of both contestants; if I had solved the numbers round correctly I would be guaranteed the win right now, which would be the earliest such a thing is possible.  But I did not, alas.

Kashi: BOATS
Carol: STOWS
David: BOASTS, SABOTS, WATUSI; at end of show: WATUSIS

Scores: Kashi 0 (29), Carol 0 (11), me 46

Round 6: Target 966 from 25 75 100 5 8 5

Carol opts for a balanced mix, and although a few approaches are tempting I started off looking at the descent from 975, which is 13*75.  The rest of the numbers cooperated nicely and gave me the solution 966 = (8 + 5)*75 - 5 - 100/25.  This turns out to be the only solution, which Lily also found.

Carol is outside the scoring range with 940, while Kashi declares one away with 965 = 8*100 + 5*25 + 5*8.  She's used the 8 twice, though, and this solution is not valid.  A tweak would have salvaged this if she had picked up the duplication during thinking time.

Kashi: [invalid]
Carol: [not in range]
Me: 966
Lily: 966

Scores: Kashi 0 (29), Carol 0 (11), me 56

Second break: GAMY BEAT ("A huge mouthful of computer information")

These days a MEGABYTE may not seem like so much to computer users, but it certainly used to be impressive.

Round 7: A E L R H N A E F

I had REAL, LEARN, HEALER, and LEANER.  A very unhelpful mix!

Both contestants have found HEALER for six, and David notes LEANER as the only other one that he could find.

Six is the best, but there is one more: FRAENA, plural of FRAENUM ("a small fold of membrane which checks or restrains the motion of a part, as the one which binds down the underside of the tongue").


Scores: Kashi 6 (35), Carol 6 (17), me 62

Round 8: Target 891 from 75 25 50 7 1 10

Carol is 18 points behind and must solve this one to have a chance, but also needs Kashi to be unable to.  She sticks with three of each, and gets a large but reachable total that is exactly what she needed at this stage of the game... as long as she can solve it, that is.

My first observation was that the target is 81*11, which is very nearly achievable.  I was not able to get that to work (and it turns out not to be a possible approach), so I switched tacks and went through a similar thought process to that which I should have used in round 3: I want the 10 and 1 for the final offset, so can 900 be reached with the rest?  The answer turned out to be yes, and once more 875 plays a key part: 891 = 7*(75 + 50) + 25 - (10 - 1).

Carol's hopes are doomed as she can only get to 834, and Kashi has nothing at all to declare.  Lily has found another solution which is deceptively simple: 891 = (25 - 7)*50 - 10 + 1.  Well done, Lily!

There's only one other solution: 891 = (75 + 7*50/25)*10 + 1.

Kashi: [no answer]
Carol: [not in range]
Me: 891
Lily: 891

Scores: Kashi 6 (35), Carol 6 (17), me 72


Kashi is guaranteed the win, but Carol could still hope to get the consolation of solving the conundrum.  The answer leapt out at me, and around ten seconds later Kashi manages to solve it to put the seal on the win.

Kashi: FURNITURE (12.5s)
Carol: [no answer]

Final scores: Kashi 6 (45), Carol 6 (17), me 82

Carol was outplayed in every facet tonight, but only marginally so in the numbers.  Neither contestant was very convincing on those and they only yielded five points in total.  Kashi was perhaps fortunate that the rules on comparatives and spelling shifts had not been worked out yet, but still had more than enough leeway even if POXIER had been ruled invalid.  Kashi has her sixth and last main game on Monday, and that should be enough to make the finals even if she loses.


Jan said...

I will take David's more lax ruling on poxier too! Although if the show ever comes back and I decide to be brave and go on it, I will remember it's not OK now.

9*100 - 75 + 25 = 850 - 5 = 845. (7)
10+1=11. 11*75=825 + 50 + 7 = 882. (5)

JT said...

Fairly good game for me I knew there would be a nine in round 2 but couldn't find it

My Answers
891-7*(75 + 50)+25-10+1

Sam Gaffney said...

My answers:

DECORATES (yet another high-probability nine turning up)
844 = (100+75)*5 -25-9+3
966 = (8+5)*75 - 100/25 - 5
891 = (75+50)*7 + 25-10+1 (borderline on time, may have had to declare my 892 method)

Geoff Bailey said...

I find it amusing that your first two answers were DATING and ESCORTED, JT. I'm sure David would have commented about that, and probably also on the ensuing GROUPIE.

Congratulations on getting the nine, Sam -- another excellent game from you. And solid results once more from Jan.

Mike Backhouse said...


In the second letters game, I came up with 'sectored', wrote it down, but did not think it would be valid and went for 'stored' instead. I note you referred to it and wondered if you thought it was ok.

Geoff Bailey said...

Mike: If I list a word as part of my guesses without a remark indicating it is invalid, then it is valid. Following the link to episode 7 (round 7 is the relevant part) would have spelled this out more explicitly: SECTOR is listed as a verb in the Macquarie.

JT said...

Hahahaha very good spot Geoff I'm not the most affectionate guy so I would of missed the love theme I was going through.