Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Ep 36: David Jones, Ben Strate (August 27, 2012; originally aired September 20, 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 Jones faces the crucial fourth game hurdle tonight, but there's essentially nothing to the pre-game chat.  He's had a good run so far, with his lowest score being 50.

Tonight's challenger is Ben Strate, an energy and resource lawyer with a passion for musicals.  Richard checks whether this passion extends to performing in them, and Ben confirms that he likes to do so -- the singing, at least; he says that dancing is not such a strength of his.  Some of the musicals that he has performed in are Into the Woods, Urinetown, and Singin' in the Rain.

(I recall seeing a wonderful production of Into the Woods at the Sydney Opera House in 1993.  They had a nifty rotating stage that they used to very good effect.)

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

David got off to an early lead when Ben essayed a risky word without success; Ben was perhaps a little unlucky as it was certainly a relatable concept.  A couple of shared rounds followed, but then David won the next two letters rounds to build a significant lead.  Ben was not able to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the numbers rounds, and David was guaranteed the win before the conundrum.  He continued his good form by solving it to register a 61 to 30 victory.

I found a couple of good words tonight, but also missed a couple.  I was very slow on the conundrum, but I'd done enough in the numbers to take the win anyway.  I definitely needed the advantage that they provided his time!

Round 1: N D B I A E F R H

I had BIND, FRIEND, HANDIER, and BRAINED (the safe anagram of BANDIER, which although it would probably have been accepted at this point in the show's history would not be accepted later).

Both contestants start off with seven-letter words; David's choice is HANDIER, while Ben's slightly more hopeful try is BEDHAIR.  Unfortunately for Ben that is not in the Macquarie, but it's a concept that I think many people could relate to.

That looks like all the sevens, and there are more sixes than I feel like naming.

Ben: [invalid]

Scores: David 7, Ben 0, me 7

Round 2: C T A L E K B I R

There's some useful fragments here in -ABLE and -LIKE (and -IBLE and -LET, for that matter), and I did not spend as much time looking at the former as I would have liked.  Fortunately it did not matter this time; I had TALC, LATE, CLEAT, TACKLE, ARTICLE / RECITAL, wondered about BRACTLIKE (BRACT: "a specialised leaf or leaf-like part [...]"), and CRABLIKE.  I was pretty sure about the latter -- the -LIKE fragment goes reasonably well with animals -- and correctly decided that BRACTLIKE would not be valid.

After time I noted some other sevens: TRICKLE, BLACKER, BRACKET, and CATLIKE.  I also checked up on TRICKABLE (not valid) and BLACK TIE, which was required to be two words as expected.

Both contestants have gone with TRICKLE for their sevens; DA has gone that one better with CRABLIKE.

That does look like the only eight; there are a good many other sevens, of which I'll just mention BACKLIT.


Scores: David 7 (14), Ben 0 (7), me 15

Round 3: Target  116 from 100 3 10 9 3 2

A low target provided little challenge, with the question mostly being how to make the final 6.  There's at least three obvious ways; I went with 116 = 100 + 10 + 2*3, while both contestants opted for 116 = 100 + 10 + 3 + 3.

David: 116
Ben: 116
Me: 116

Scores: David 17 (24), Ben 10 (17), me 25

First break: MEDIA RAN ("A delicious soak")

Mmm, yes, a good MARINADE can be delicious for sure.

DA's talk is about the word yakuza.

Round 4: S M O Z A P U I T

I had SOMA (I was thinking along Aldous Huxley lines, but the actual definition is "the body of an organism, as contrasted with its germ cells"), MIAOUS, PATIOS, and IMPASTO.

This time Ben has MOATS for five, but David gets the points with PATIOS.  DA has found UTOPIAS and IMPASTO.  I mentioned UTOPIA recently in episode 31, but it's still a word I struggle to see.

It looks like DA has found all the sevens.  The other sixes are PATOIS, UTOPIA, UPMOST, AUTISM, OPTIMA, IMPOST ("a tax, tribute, or duty"), MATZOS (listed as an acceptable plural -- the other is MATZOTH -- of MATZO: "a biscuit of unleavened bread, eaten by Jews during Pesach"), and possibly OPIUMS.


Scores: David 17 (30), Ben 10 (17), me 32

Round 5: E I A S C T G D L

I had CASE, CASTE, CAGIEST, and DETAILS / DILATES.  I was sure that there was an eight from those letters without the G, but I could not see it.  After time I noted LIGATES and LIGATED as other sevens.

Ben has STAGED for six, but David has done well to find the word I was looking for: DIALECTS.  Well done!  DA notes the anagram CITADELS, and those are the only eights.  That puts David 21 points ahead which is definite danger territory for Ben; he must make up ground in one of the next two rounds to have a chance, and on form so far it will have to be on the numbers.

There's many sevens here, so I'll just note AGISTED as one that I would have easily found at one point but which seems to be drifting out of my game vocabulary.


Scores: David 25 (38), Ben 10 (17), me 32

Round 6: Target 593 from 50 100 3 1 1 8

The target is 7 away form 600, and that 7 can be made as 8 - 1.  The remaining smalls can get up to 4, and that is just enough, giving the solution 593 = (3 + 1)*(100 + 50) - (8 - 1).  I had that pretty early on, and not surprisingly it turns out to be Lily's solution also.  This is the only solution.

Both contestants are three away with 597 = (8 - 1 - 1)*100 - 3.  Note that a different method of forming the 6 would have let them get one away with 592 = (1 + 1)*3*100 - 8.

Ben had a chance to pick up 7 points here with that approach, but since he did not do so he needs to outscore David on this next round to have a chance of victory still.

David: 597
Ben: 597
Me: 593
Lily: 593

Scores: David 25 (45), Ben 10 (24), me 42

Lily has another talk about mathematics today; this time she briefly describes the Fibonacci sequence, and how it pops up frequently in nature.

Second break: LATER INN ("A type of organ")

Not a musical one, it's an INTERNAL organ that is wanted.

Round 7: O E A S J R N F D

I had JOES (JOE is colloquial for a ewe, but there is also an unrelated verb sense which makes JOED and JOEING legal), AROSE, and REASON.

Ben has REASON for six, but that is matched by David's choice of FRONDS and David is now guaranteed to win this game.  DA points out FJORDS as a six that uses the J, but then goes one better with FEDORAS.  Well done, DA!

I have a bit of a blind spot for FEDORA(S); it has turned up a fair few times in games that I have watched, and I don't think I've found it within time yet (and quite probably not after time, either).

Sadly SNARFED has not made it into the Macquarie, so FEDORAS is the only seven.  There's more sixes than I feel like going into.


Scores: David 31 (51), Ben 12 (30), me 48

Round 8: Target 937 from 25 50 5 6 2 9

I was distracted for a bit by the target being equal to (25*75 - 1)/2, but there was no easy way to turn the 50 into a 75 to utilise this.  Fortunately I was able to tweak my way to a solution via more standard means with 937 = 2*(9*50 + 6) + 25.

David has not been able to get anywhere with this, while Ben declares 930 but gets only as far as 9*2 before he notices that he has written down the solution incorrectly.  Presumably he intended to write down 930 = 9*2*50 + 5*6, but if so note that he could have ended up much closer with 936 = 9*2*50 + 25 + 5 + 6.

Lily demonstrates a different solution of 937 = (25 - 6)*50 - (2*9 - 5).  Very nice!

David: [no answer]
Ben: [invalid]
Me: 937
Lily: 937

Scores: David 31 (51), Ben 12 (30), me 48


I went off on a few unhelpful tangents here, sidetracked particularly by -ED and -ISH.  If one of those D's had been an A that would have been enough to let me find GARNISHED, but spotting that was not of use here.  While I was still trying to make anything from this David buzzed in with what turned out to be the correct answer; it took me another seventeen seconds to see it -- I completely missed the -ING fragment somehow, which was a bad oversight.

David: SHREDDING (4.5s)
Ben: [no answer]

Final scores: David 41 (61), Ben 12 (30), me 48

Once more David demonstrated very solid play on the letters rounds, with DIALECTS in particular being a great find.  Ben had some good finds in the letters also, even thought BEDHAIR turned out not to be valid.  Neither really managed to tame the numbers, and it does look like David could be caught there.  Still, he has done well to win his fourth game and will most likely make the finals at this rate.

As an aside, this would have been a pretty good game under Touchdown rules; each letters round can have a single substitution made to produce a full monty.  (There's a few solutions in some cases.)


Mike Backhouse said...

My attempt:

TACKIER (not sure about this)
Beaten by David for conundrum (will have to pause it, as I never get the full 30 sec, usually being buzzed in my one of the contestants within the 10 sec mark!

Sam Gaffney said...

Nothing rang a bell in this episode, so perhaps I hadn't seen it. I think I would have remembered the mention of a musical called "Urinetown" (which Richard let through to the keeper, despite the golden comedy potential).

ARTICLE (I was wondering about BACKLIT)
116 = 100 + 10 + 3 + 3
CITADELS (possibly too late)
593 = (3+1)*(100+50) - (8-1) (wasted most of the round writing a "safety" 592)
937 = 2*(9*50 + 6) + 25 Shared Geoff's answer and distraction. Shades of my Ep 445 Round 8 answer.

Jan said...

Geoff, again I need to ask you about acceptable words. I had brained in Rd 1, and tried to work out if that was ok. What is the ruling with verbs? Can you just add 'ed' and 'ing' to them? I tried to find your blog about acceptable words, but couldn't find it. I also had bandier, but could not find that in the Macq dictionary.

Anyway, I had a pretty good game, but missed the opportunity to try for the conundrum after David buzzed in so quickly.

BLACKER (7) would TACKLER be ok?
100 + 10 + 3 + 3 = 116 (10)
CASTED(0) I am not sure if that is valid?
(3+1)*(100+50) = 600 - (8-1) = 593 (10)
(6*2)*(50+25) = 900 + 9*5 = 945 (5)
David was too quick.

Jan said...

Sam, I was also surprised that Richard did not make a comment about Urinetown!

Geoff Bailey said...

Jan: The first of those posts is here, and gives the general description of the regular inflected forms. In particular, if no participles are listed for a verb then they are formed by appending -ed and -ing to the base verb.

So BRAINED is acceptable, since BRAIN is listed with a verb sense (and no participles explicitly given).

CASTED, however, is not. CAST is a verb, but the past participle is explicitly given as CAST also. (There was a small chance that CASTE might have CASTED as a derived adjective, but this is not the case.)

TACKLER would have been fine -- it's a commonly used term in the various football codes.

Also, nice game -- looks like you were ahead by seven going into the conundrum.

Nice to hear from you again, Mike! The good news is that TACKIER is fine, while the bad news is that CASTED is not (as per the above).

And another strong game from you, Sam. CITADELS and FEDORAS are particularly good finds -- well done!

JT said...

It looks like the next week helped David J' play as it did seem he was starting to fade at the end of the week. I had a horror game finding nothing more than six letters words and missing the chance of the optimal numbers game when I couldn't get (9x50+6)*2+25 written in the right way.

My Answers
RAINED (should of seen BRAINED)
936-9*2*50+25+5+6 (a)
Shortly after David