Friday, 21 September 2012

Ep 55: Jayanthi Viswanathan, Keith De La Rue (September 21, 2012; originally aired Otober 15, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Jayanthi Viswanathan is back, getting her first turn in the champion's seat.  Richard mentions that Jayanthi loves to travel and asks her about her favourite destination.  Jayanthi responds that the place she has been to most is India; the more she goes, the more she discovers about the country and where she came from, and she thinks that is really important.

Tonight's challenger is Keith De La Rue, a knowledge management consultant with a degree in applied science.  Keith travels the world as a keynote speaker, but Richard wants to know what knowledge management is.  Keith explains that organisations depend a lot on what people know, and knowledge management is about enabling that knowledge to be shared so that the whole organisation can benefit from it.

Jayanthi got out to an early lead, outdoing Keith in the first three rounds to be ahead by twenty points at the first break.  That was too much to overcome, in the end; Keith managed to match her in the second third of the game, but the final letters round ensured her victory.  Keith got the consolation prize of solving the conundrum, but Jayanthi got the win, 56 to 39.

I was in rather spotty form, struggling with a few letters rounds.  Twice I saw the best option with only a second left on the clock and not enough time to get it written down; that was frustrating.  The words were in my grasp, but not quite fast enough.  There was a minor consolation in finding one longer word than David, and aside from the first two rounds it was a pretty satisfactory game.

Round 1: O E I C S W N U D

I had ICES, SINCE, OUNCES, WINCES, and WOUNDS.  I would have liked to be able to declare COUSINED, but I correctly decided it was too much of a stretch.  Sevens proved elusive, but after time I finally saw CODEINS as one option.

Keith starts off with DICES for five, but Jayanthi gets the early lead with COUSIN for six.  David has found UNWISE for six (referring to pre-game chat where he had mentioned how U and W did not play well together) and INDUCES for seven.

The other sevens have turned up relatively recently: SECONDI (plural of SECONDO, the second part in a duet) and INCUSED (INCUSE: "to hammer or stamp, as a figure on a coin") / INCUDES (plural of INCUS, a bone in the ear).

Jayanthi: COUSIN
Keith: DICES

Scores: Jayanthi 6, Keith 0, me 6

Round 2: T A B O E S P A R

I kept getting distracted in this round by words that were not there: SEPARATE, SEPARATOR, OPERATOR.  What I did have was BOAT, BOATS, and PASTOR, and just before time ran out I saw PROBATES for eight but could not get it down in time.  After time I saw BOATERS as a reasonably obvious seven (given that I had found BOATS) that I should have found.

Keith has REPAST for six, but Jayanthi has found BOATERS for seven.  She is not sure about it, so she is presumably thinking of "those who boat", but it is perfectly fine and her risk is rewarded.  David has found PROBATES for eight.

There's a fair few other sevens: PROBATE, ABREAST / ABATERS, ABATORS, SEAPORT / PROTEAS / ESPARTO (a type of grass), BOASTER / BORATES / SORBATE, and SAPROBE ("an organism that derives its nourishment from dead and decaying organic matter").

Jayanthi: BOATERS

Scores: Jayanthi 13, Keith 0, me 6

Round 3: Target 413 from 25 100 3 3 9 1

I started considering various complicated options, but returning to basics led me to the solution: 413 = (3 + 1)*100 + 25 - 9 - 3.  The only wrinkle here is needing to subtract the 12 from the 25 to reach the target exactly, instead of adding it to get one off.

Keith has ended up out of the scoring range with 425, while Jayanthi has ended up one away with 412 = (3 + 1)*100 + 9 + 3.  Lily has solved this using the solution above.

There is a tweaked version of that solution which saves a number: 413 = (3 + 1)*(100 - 3) + 25; that has a couple of trivial modifications where one 3 is replaced by 9/3 instead.  The only other solution is the Sam-like 413 = (25*(100 - 1) + 3) / (9 - 3).

Jayanthi is already twenty points ahead, and Keith has to do a lot of catching up if he's to have a chance of winning.

Jayanthi: 412
Keith: [not in range]
Me: 413
Lily: 413

Scores: Jayanthi 13 (20), Keith 0, me 16

First break: NICE TAPE ("It's a girls' name; happy waiting")

If waiting, then PATIENCE might be required.

David's talk is about the term road rage, and some related rage terms that have ended up in the dictionary.

Round 4: T I E M S O C A T

I had TIME, TIMES, MOIST, SOMATIC / ATOMICS, ATOMISE, and STOMATIC ("relating to the mouth").  I knew that last thanks to episode 412, which now that I look at it had a round with exactly the same letters.

The contestants each have six-letter words, Jayanthi with COMETS and Keith with MASCOT.  David has found TOASTIE for seven, so although I'm behind on aggregate thanks to the first two rounds I have the consolation of beating him in this one.

The other sevens are TOMCATS, TOTEMIC, CATTIES (plural of CATTY, which is a unit of weight) / STATICE (a type of plant), COMATES (plural of COMATE: "a mate or companion"), COSTATE ("bearing ribs"), SEMATIC ("serving as a sign or warning of danger [...]"), ATOMIST, and ATOMIES (plural of ATOMY, an archaic term for an atom).

Jayanthi: COMETS

Scores: Jayanthi 13 (26), Keith 0 (6), me 24

Round 5: E I O F R D S A G

I had FIRE, FIRED, FORAGED, and FRIDGES.  I wondered about FORDAGES but the more I thought about it the less plausible it seemed, so seven was my limit.  Except that once I stopped worrying about FORDAGES I saw FIREDOGS (FIREDOG is another term for an ANDIRON: "one of a pair of metallic stands used to support wood in an open fire") for eight, but just like round two I had less than a second left and could not get it down in time.  Bother!

Again the contestants have found six-letter words; this time Keith has GRADES while Jayanthi has gone for FIORDS, which is an acceptable variant spelling of FJORDS.  David is on target again with FIREDOGS.

The other eight is FORESAID; I'd looked at FORE- but not seen this one.

The other sevens are FORAGES, FIREDOG, ROADIES, FEDORAS, and DEFRAGS.  DOG-EARS is also there, but the Macquarie insists on the hyphen so it would not be allowed.

Jayanthi: FIORDS

Scores: Jayanthi 13 (32), Keith 0 (12), me 31

Round 6: Target 550 from 50 75 5 4 4 7

There's very little to this round; everyone gets 550 = (7 + 4)*50 in short order and waits for time to run out.

Jayanthi: 550
Keith: 550
Me: 550

Scores: Jayanthi 23 (42), Keith 10 (22), me 41

Second break: CRUSH APE ("Leverage you can acquire")

A double definition, as PURCHASE can be a type of leverage.

Round 7: E A U L R M H E S

Keith has managed to stop the backwards slide in the last third, but must at least match Jayanthi here to have a chance.

I had LURE, MAULER, MAULERS, and MEASURE.  After time I checked on SHEMALE in case it needed a hyphen and discovered that it does not have one (at least, as far as the Macquarie is concerned).

Keith has SHAME for five while Jayanthi tries MAULERS for seven.  She's a little uncertain about it, but it is valid and that guarantees her the win.  David has HAULERS for his seven.

The other sevens are HEALERS, HUMERAL ("of the shoulder"), and RELUMES (RELUME: "to light or illuminate again").

Jayanthi: MAULERS
Keith: SHAME

Scores: Jayanthi 30 (49), Keith 10 (22), me 48

Round 8: Target 534 from 75 25 3 5 4 9

This time I managed to restrain my impulsive side and noted that the difference from 525 was 9, which quickly led to the solution 534 = (4 + 3)*75 + 9.  Then I looked at tweaking my way up from 500 and found another solution of 534 = 5*(75 + 25 + 9 - 3) + 4.

Both contestants are one away with 533 = (75 + 25)*5 + 9*4 - 3.  Lily demonstrates the first of the solutions listed above.

Jayanthi: 533
Keith: 533
Me: 534
Lily: 534

Scores: Jayanthi 30 (56), Keith 10 (29), me 58


So many common letters, and I did not know where to start.  Fortunately swapping the words almost produces the answer, and I had it a few seconds in.  Keith solved it not long thereafter, getting the consolation prize of solving a conundrum.

Jayanthi: [no answer]
Keith: INTELLECT (8s)

Final scores: Jayanthi 30 (56), Keith 10 (39), me 68

Keith's slow start cost him the game, with the final margin less than the twenty points that Jayanthi gained in the first third of the match.  Jayanthi handled the numbers much better tonight than yesterday, which was nice to see, and was rewarded for trying a couple of words that she was not sure about.  She'll be back for her third game after the weekend; we'll see what kind of opponents she encounters then.


Jan said...

I felt like I struggled in this game, but still did end up with a score over 60, and only losing on the conundrum. I 'buzzed' in with clientele, but realised it was wrong.
I crossed out CATTIES in Rd 4 - bummer.

(3+1)*100 + 25 - (9+3) = 413 (10)
GRIEFS (6) I didn't write down FORAGES in time
(7+4)*50 = 550 (10)
(4+3)*75 + 9 = 534

Sam Gaffney said...

I had validity decisions to make on all five letter rounds here, getting two of them wrong.

PROBATES (nearly tried APPROBATES with a single P)
413 = (3+1)*(100-3) + 25 Wasted time by writing a 412 answer first.
STOMATIC (I worried whether this and SOMATIC both words?)
ROADIES (saw FIREDOGS, didn't "risk" it, as I did not know its meaning)
550 = (7+4)*50
534 = (3+4)*75 + 9

JT said...

Probably one of the few times I've been consistent with the letters...

55 seconds

Mike Backhouse said...

My entries:

Lily's way
Keith's way
Keith's way (one off)
missed conundrum

Nothing over a 6 for me this game. Are there any techniques for spotting words? I did find David's tips this episode re looking for prefixes and suffixes helpful.

When I write down my letters as Lily reads them out, I tend to put E's and D's at the end, hoping for an -ED suffix but can often waste time on that avenue or overlook other possibilities. 30 seconds is not a long time for me.

Geoff Bailey said...

Jan: CLIENTELE is a great almost-spot, though -- I wish I had seen it! Bad luck on CATTIES and FORAGES, which are also good spots.

Even with that invalid answer your conundrum speed had you win against me, Sam. It wasn't a bad shot, either; I might well have tried UNCOWED if I had seen it.

I'm glad to see everyone doing well on the numbers.

Mike: For how to spot words, the advice about looking for common fragments or letters that go well together is hard to beat. The rest of it is really a matter of practice; spend a while doing untimed versions, stopping when you are satisfied with what you have found. As you get experienced with it, you will spot those commonalities more quickly.

A useful thing to do in conjunction with this is to then check a word list to see if there were longer options that you feel you should have found or wish that you had. i.e., words you know well that were there. That lets you see the features of those words that might help you to find them, or similar ones, at a later point.