Friday, 24 August 2012

Ep 34: David Jones, Arthur Barrs (August 23, 2012; originally aired September 16, 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.

David takes his place in the champion's seat tonight, and we learn that he has travelled widely over south-east Asia; he went there for a few months after university to postpone joining the real world.  Richard asks whether there were particular parts that David enjoyed more; David responds that he did enjoy the entire trip, but possibly the highlight was in Indonesia where he got to see orangutans in the wild.

Tonight's challenger is Arthur Barrs, described as a jack of all trades and master of many.  Some of his occupations include financial planning and being an air force pilot.  Arthur acquired a nickname during that latter job, and he relates the experience as follows.
I was sitting in the departure lounge at RAAF base, Richmond, with my pilots course buddies and a flight sergeant walks in.  He says, "I need an officer volunteer."  Everyone's just looking around, and he goes, "You" (pointing at me) and he gives me this briefcase.  He says, "I need you to take this to the other end" and he handcuffs it to my wrist.
Thereafter his mates all started calling him James Bond, or double-0.

(Aside: I'm not at all certain about the spelling of Arthur's surname; corrections welcomed.)

As mentioned yesterday, I'll be referring to David Astle throughout as DA to avoid confusion about which David is which.

Arthur found a very nice word to start with, but it wasn't nearly as long as David's choice.  He did get ground back in the next round, though, and then an easy numbers round led to shared points there.  Then David was too good for the rest of the game, scoring unanswered points in every round including the conundrum to take a comprehensive 64 to 17 win.

I just could not shake David this game; I picked up a small lead early on, but then gave it back.  We performed identically on the other five of the first seven rounds and then I managed to get ahead in the last numbers round.  (I think David must have run out of time, as he was clearly on the right track there.)  Once again David beat me to the conundrum, and that's the first time I've tied with a contestant this series.

Round 1: N D B I O E G T A

I had BIND, BONED, BODING, and DEBATING.  After time I noted some sevens that I'd seen within time: BEATING, BONDAGE, and NIOBATE, and this latter led me to find OBTAINED as another eight.

Arthur has gone with BIOTA (I've mentioned this a few times recently, such as episode 25: "the total animal and plant life of a region, or sometimes a period, as seen collectively and interdependently").  That's a nice word, but it's certainly not using the potential of this mix; when -ING is around sixes should be plentiful, at the least.  David demonstrates that point by also having found DEBATING, while DA also has OBTAINED.

Those are both eights; the other sevens are BEADING, BIGOTED, BEGONIA, GODETIA, TANGOED, BOATING, DINGBAT, INGOTED, DOGBANE (a type of plant), and DOATING (DOAT being listed as a variant spelling of DOTE).

Arthur: BIOTA

Scores: David 8, Arthur 0, me 8

Round 2: U E I S C H O R K

I had CUES, HOUSE, CHOIRS, and started to write down a speculative HOCKERS (which would not have been valid) but realised that SHOCKER was a safer adjustment.  After time I noted other sevens of CUSHIER and CHOKERS, and while checking on SHOCKER I saw SHOCKIE listed as a synonym for it in the sense of a shock absorber.

Arthur bemuses by declaring "only seven" -- he had SHOCKER -- which prompts David to respond with "merely six" and CHORES.  DA has managed to go one better by finding OCKERISH for eight.

That prompts Richard to ask about the origins of OCKER, and it turns out that it comes from a character from the Mavis Bramston Show; that's much more recent than I would have expected, and perhaps shows just how influential the Mavis Bramston Show was in Australian TV history.

The other sevens are CHOKIER, HUSKIER, SHUCKER (one who shucks, which is to say someone who removes the outer shells from things such as maize, nuts, etc.), SHICKER (colloquial for "alcoholic drink"), and HEROICS / COHEIRS (joint heirs).


Scores: David 8, Arthur 7, me 15

Round 3: Target 914 from 50 9 8 6 5 2

That obvious approach works pretty easily, and everyone finds 914 = 9*2*50 + 8 + 6 in short order.

David: 914
Arthur: 914
Me: 914
Lily: 914

Scores: David 18, Arthur 17, me 25

First break: PATIO DRY ("When doctors put their foot in it")

I'd hope that people following recent comments saw PAROTID in the first seven letters, but the clue clearly directs to the topic of feet and medicine, and thus PODIATRY.

DA's talk is about the origins of terms from chess: bishop, zugzwang, and checkmate.

Round 4: N F S E A U N L O

I had FENS, FANES, UNSAFE, ANNULS, and regretfully (but correctly) rejected NOSEFUL. 

Arthur has UNSEAL for six, but David has found FUNNELS for seven to recover from his miss in round 2.  DA also had FUNNELS, which was the only seven that he could find.

The other seven is SULFONE (a type of chemical compound).

There is an eight, though: ANNULOSE is "furnished with rings; composed of rings".  I should have paid a bit more attention after seeing ANNULS...

Arthur: UNSEAL

Scores: David 25, Arthur 17, me 25

Round 5: H E Q A R E D N A

Bleah, nothing much useful happening in this round.  I had HEAR, HEARD, ENDEAR, HARDEN, and HEADER.

Arthur is a little surprisingly limited to DARE for four, while David has HARDEN for his six.  DA mentions ADHERE as another, but there is nothing longer to be found.

The other sixes are NEARED / EARNED and DHARNA ("the Hindu religious practice of lying flat on one's face in a temple for some period of time, waiting for guidance from the god").

Arthut: DARE

Scores: David 31, Arthur 17, me 31

Round 6: Target 545 from 75 25 9 6 7 5

I almost made a complete mess of this, heading off after unhelpful methods.  My complications led me to a one-away 546 = 6*(75 + 25 - 9), and then a bit of sense reasserted itself and I went with the standard method to get the solution 545 = 7*75 + 25 - 5.  After time I used the factor of 5 for a different solution: 545 = 5*(75 + 25 + 9).

Arthur is one away with 546 (he thinks!) -- did he fall into the same trap that I did at first? -- but David has solved this with the first of the solutions above.

David: 545
Arthur: 546
Me: 545

Scores: David 41, Arthur 17, me 41

There's a departure from the normal process as Lily has a fun mathematical fact to explain; perhaps this was an early experiment into giving her equal time with DA on the explanation front?  Anyway, this fact involves cutting a pizza into eight slices.  As she explains, you can pick any point on the pizza and make the four cuts through it; as long as each new cut is at a 45 degree angle from the previous one through that point, then two people can each take alternate slices and will end up with the same amount of pizza overall.
The total area of the mauve pieces is the same as the total area of the orange pieces

I was not aware of this theorem before; it seems difficult to prove.  Apparently it is also true if the number of slices is any multiple of 4 greater than 8, as long as the angles at the point are all the same.

Second break: MERE RIPE ("We are showing this clue for the first time")

A bit ironic given that this is a repeat episode, but at the time it was the PREMIERE showing of the clue.

Round 7: B J D I A E P S C

Not the most helpful set of consonants; I had ABIDE and was hanging out for a final T for BAPTISED.  When it did not turn up I scrambled around for anything better, but the best I could manage was SPACED.  After time I realised that I could have had ABIDES as an earlier six.

Arthur has found JIBES for five, but once again is pipped by David's choice of SPACED.  David is now guaranteed the win, and has certainly played well.  DA has dug deep to find PEDICABS for eight -- bravo!

That is the only eight, and PEDICAB the only seven.  There's a decent spread of sixes; some of the more common ones are BICEPS, BIPEDS, SPICED, and BIASED.

Arthur: JIBES

Scores: David 47, Arthur 17, me 47

Round 8: Target 494 from 25 50 7 9 8 10

I'm still tied with David, and that means that whatever the result of this round the conundrum will be significant.  I finally got a chance to utilise one of those number combinations that I just know (7*8*9 = 504) with the solution 494 = 7*8*9 - 10, but this is marred by the standard method also working handily: 494 = 10*50 - 7 + 9 - 8.

Arthur has a rather unexpected 498, while David is closer but still off the target with 492 = 10*50 - 8.  Obviously he could have ended up one closer by subtracting 7 instead, so this is particularly odd.  If he had been writing up until the end I'd assume that he just ran out of time before he could add + 9 - 7, but that did not seem to be the case.  Strange stuff from both contestants.

Lily demonstrates the required adjustment to David's solution (that is the second of the solutions that I had).

David: 492
Arthur: 498
Me: 494
Lily: 494

Scores: David 47 (54), Arthur 17, me 57


I got distracted by a non-working LUBRIC- fragment, but otherwise had trouble.  David buzzed in at the eight second mark, and I started the backup timer.  It took me another seven seconds to see the answer; the key moment was looking at the -ULAR fragment.

David: BINOCULAR (8s)
Arthur: [no answer]

Final scores David 57 (64), Arthur 17, me 57

A great game from David, who is looking very difficult to beat at this early stage.  Arthur found some interesting words but they were mostly not quite long enough, and David outscored him in seven of the nine rounds.

Only a small numbers bobble from David let me off with a draw today, and I feel lucky on that front.  I was somewhat in tune with him, as on the rounds where we shared points we had exactly the same answers.  I'm definitely going to have to be on my toes in his games!


Jan said...

I thought I had a fairly good game against David, until I was writing out my answers here, and discovered a phantom r in round 7. Bummer


RICHES (6) if counting against David
(2*9)*50 + 6 + 8 = 914 (10)
7*75 + 25 - 5 = 545 (10)
PRIDES - oops, there is no r! (0)
10*50 = 500. 9-7=2. 8-2=6. 500-6 = 494 (10)

Sam Gaffney said...

David Jones' shirt was not something you'd expect to find in his namesake Australian department store. He looked like an official in a far-left or far-right government; Bob Geldof's character towards the end of Pink Floyd's The Wall film, perhaps. He certainly repressed Arthur brutally.

I may have seen this episode before, but am not sure.

914 = 9*2*50 + 8 + 6
545 = 7*75 + 25-5
494 = (50+8)*9 - 25 - 10 + 7
~9s (just after David)

JT said...

I liked Lily's pizza explination it's a shame she doesn't get to explain more maths theories, although I alawys take the big Pizza slices ;)

My Answers

Geoff Bailey said...

*chuckles* I know what you mean about David's shirt, Sam. Oddly militaristic! Nice game -- a comfortable win for you over me -- and congratulations on finding FUNNELS in particular.

JT: People often suggest that Lily should get to explain more mathematics. I think it's a bit difficult, though -- it needs to be something accessible and interesting and explainable in under a minute. Most things fitting those criteria run the risk of being seen as too simple, alas.

(Oh, and did you mean CHOKERS? There's only one C in that round, of course.)

My condolences on the phantom R, Jan. Always a bit vexing to discover that one has been mixing the wrong letters!

JT said...

Yes that is CHOKERS in round 2 Geoff, I think I go too quick for my own good...